Everybody wants pearly white teeth. But taking care of your teeth and gums is about more than just having a pretty smile. You may be surprised to learn that your oral health can have a major impact on your overall health. Periodontal disease, better known as gum disease, shows symptoms in the oral cavity that are linked to over 120 diseases!
If left untreated, gum disease can result in significant health issues. Illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and even some types of cancer have all been connected to gum disease.
The Progression of Periodontal Disease
Gum disease can affect people of all ages, and create problems for your oral health for many years to come. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and is characterized by red, swollen gums. If you’ve been affected by gingivitis, you may have noticed that your gums may bleed while you’re brushing your teeth.
Usually, gingivitis is a painless condition and can be reversed with help from your dentist. If you act early enough, there may be an opportunity to reverse the damage before it progresses to something more serious.
If left untreated, it can worsen and have a huge effect on the integrity of your gums.
Periodontal Disease and Your Health
Periodontal disease occurs when plaque gets under your gums and begins to grow underneath the gum line. Eating or drinking foods with sugars or starches cause plaque to form on your teeth. When this occurs, the bacteria release acids that damage your tooth enamel. Because the plaque that forms on your teeth is so sticky, it keeps the acids in constant contact with your teeth. In time, this breaks down the enamel and ultimately leads to tooth decay.
This can cause your gums to become irritated and inflamed. The toxins present in plaque can trigger a chronic inflammatory reaction that can have long-term effects on your health.
Gum disease has also been found to increase blood sugar. This becomes especially concerning for people with diabetes. Since this condition affects the entire body, gum disease will decrease your overall immune system and can put you at a higher risk for other infections.
You may already be affected by gum disease and not even realize it. You may have taken notice of the inflammation around your gums or realized that your teeth feel more loose than normal, but these may be the only signs that you have been able to recognize.
Because periodontal disease can kill healthy tissue, some people suffering from an advanced form of the condition don’t report feeling any pain, even though their teeth are visibly rotted with disease and falling out.
This is why it is important to schedule annual checkups with your dentist. But another important reason to make sure you visit your physician is because of the dangerous health conditions that can result from poor oral healthcare.
According to a study by the CDC, some people are more at risk of being affected by periodontal disease than others. The report noted that men are more likely to be affected than women, and people who smoke are also at greater risk. The news is the same for people with type 2 diabetes or other chronic illnesses like cancer.
Periodontal disease should be treated as early as possible. Treatment may even help to reduce the annual medical costs for those suffering from related chronic diseases.
Treatments for gum disease
If you are concerned that you may be suffering from gum disease, a dentist can perform a medical evaluation and offer you a variety of options regarding how to treat the condition. Seeking treatment is important since poor oral hygiene can impact your health in so many other ways.
Are you concerned that gingivitis or periodontal disease may be affecting your health? If so, there is no need to continue suffering with these conditions. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Satlin for an evaluation. We specialize in periodontal treatments and dental implants.
We are dedicated to providing our patients with excellent dental care during each and every visit. Give us a call today at (310) 826-7863 for your consultation. We want to help you smile with confidence and comfort again!