Treating | Preventing Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is caused by poor oral hygiene. We all know that not brushing and flossing regularly can lead to cavities and tooth loss, but did you know that it could also lead to serious health problems. When your gums are inflamed, bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause numerous health risks.
Research has shown that people with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. When bacteria from gum infection enters the bloodstream and lodges in the heart vessels it causes inflammation, thickening of the artery walls and potentially heart-stopping clots. The presence of any gum inflammation can make it very difficult for a person with Diabetes to control
his/her blood sugar. Studies also show that people with long standing gum disease are more likely to suffer a stroke. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, chronic gum inflammation increases an individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease within their lifetime and potentially worsens the cognitive functions for those who already have Alzheimer’s disease.
Pregnant women with gum disease are seven to eight times more likely Give birth prematurely to low-birth weight babies. Researchers believe that gum disease causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals, which are linked to pre-term births. Men are three times more likely to suffer from Erectile Dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction, like heart disease and diabetes, is a cardiac related condition that can be tied to bacteria entering the bloodstream due to inflamed gums. According to the National Institutes of Health, one in 10 men worldwide are affected, and the condition is more common in men over the age of 40.
The bacteria that collect in the mouth when gum disease is present are the same bacteria that cause pneumonia and other respiratory disease. Taking good care of your gums with proper oral hygiene practices can reduce your risk for developing chronic lung problems as well as the above-mentioned diseases and health conditions.
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Usually creating little or no discomfort in your gums, this is the mildest periodontal disease. Having red swollen gums that tend to bleed easily is a sign of Gingivitis. Catching the issue at this stage is easily reversible. Visiting your local dentist and practicing good oral health care at home will help reverse and maintain this gum disease.
These are some factors that can contribute to Gingivitis:
- Inadequate nutrition
- Substance abuse
- Genetic predisposition
- Systemic diseases
- HIV infection
When gingivitis is untreated it will become periodontitis. At this stage plaque has grown and spread beneath the gum line. The bacteria in the plaque has started producing toxins. These toxins not only irritate the gums, but as start an inflammatory response where the body starts attacking itself. The bone and tissues begin to break down separating the gums from the teeth forming pockets. As the disease progresses, these pockets become infected creating deeper pockets. If this cycle is not treated,teeth will become loose and may need to be extracted. For more on – tooth extraction.
Here is a list of the common forms of periodontitis:
- Aggressive periodontitis
- Chronic periodontitis
- Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases
- Necrotizing periodontal disease
For more information on how to properly take care of your gums and teeth, ask your dentist. Need an oral surgeon? Oral Surgeon Near me