Problems with Gum Disease
Gum Disease is unhealthy for more than just your gums and teeth
Studies over recent years have proven a connection between gum disease and many other physical conditions. The continuous reproduction of bacteria in the mouth is a constant irritation to the body and the immune system.
This constant barrage results in chronic inflammation. Acute inflammatory response occurs when there is an infection and is part of the normal healing process. The swelling indicates that the body’s white blood cells have accumulated to attack the bacteria or viruses.
Chronic inflammation occurs as a result of toxins and allergens constantly ingested through poor eating habits, smoking and chemicals in the environment. It is thought that such chronic inflammation is a major contributor to chronic disease. Examples of diseases associated with chronic inflammation include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer, allergies, and periodontal disease.
The bacteria in gum disease cause a state of chronic inflammation in the gums, which can create or increase chronic inflammation in other parts of the body. Conversely, chronic inflammation in the rest of the body, such as heart disease and diabetes, can stimulate or worsen gum disease. Read more about the Causes of Gum Disease.
Gum Disease and heart disease
Experts in both cardiology and periodontology agree that there is a detrimental relationship between gum disease and heart disease. Research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease as well as aggravates existing heart conditions.
Studies have additionally pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke.
Gum Disease and diabetes
It’s already well-documented that diabetics are more prone to periodontitis, and in fact, periodontitis is often considered a complication of diabetes.
Research also suggests that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways—severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar and periodontal disease can make it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar. Several studies also show that by getting gum disease under control, diabetics have reduced their blood glucose levels by as much as 10%.
Gum Disease and other systemic diseases
Respiratory disease – Studies have found that bacteria in the mouth can be transmitted to the lungs, causing respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.
Cancer – Researchers have found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.
What does Gum Disease do to your oral health?
Let’s not forget the huge affect that gum disease has on the gum’s related structures: the teeth and jawbone. Chronic gum disease causes the gradual breakdown and destruction of the ligaments and bone that support the teeth. Eventually, teeth can become loose and have to be extracted. You can read more about Gum Disease here.
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