If you aren’t practicing proper oral hygiene, harmful bacteria will grow in your mouth. This harmful bacteria can lead to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, which is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth.
While periodontal disease has been well documented and publicized over the past couple years, people still don’t seem to take it quite seriously. Not only can periodontal disease cause bleeding and inflamed gums, but it can also lead to tooth loss. On top of that, there have also been recent studies that have linked gum disease to major health problems.
There are many possibilities why gum disease could be harmful to your overall health, one of those possibilities being a bacterial infection. Bacteria can actually travel anywhere throughout the body. With that being said, below are a few ways gum disease can affect your overall health:
- It can be harmful to your heart. There are many studies that have shown gum disease to be linked to heart disease. Though the cause-and-effect link hasn’t been completely identified, research still indicates that gum disease is a risk factor for heart disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart problems.
- It can possibly affect your respiratory system. It’s been known that inhaling harmful bacteria can cause respiratory infections,which means inhaling the bacteria that grows due to gum disease can also lead to respiratory infections, such as pneumonia.
- Your memory may suffer. There is some research that suggests that people with gum disease may be at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Additional research also suggests that gum disease is linked to mild cognitive impairment, like memory problems that make daily tasks a bit more difficult.
- It can make blood pressure difficult to control. Research has shown that people who suffer from diabetes are at higher risk for gum disease. This may be because people with diabetes are more vulnerable to infection, which includes gum disease. Research also indicates that gum disease can lead to increased blood sugar and diabetic complications.
- It may cause premature birth. While there are conflicting results, there have been studies that have shown links between gum disease and premature birth. Some research has shown that women with gum disease are more likely to deliver before full term, which sets the baby up for health risks. However, other studies don’t show a link. The research is still ongoing.
Don’t jeopardize your smile or put yourself at risk for major health complications. Be sure to practice proper oral hygiene to prevent gum disease, which involves brushing twice a day, flossing at least once and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, don’t forget to visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional teeth cleanings.
If you think you may be suffering from periodontal disease, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada, DSS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information regarding gum disease.