How Gum Disease Affects Your Overall Health

How Gum Disease Affects Your Overall Health

5th March 2021 | Green Tornado

We all understand that good oral hygiene is a must. Taking good care of your teeth and gums will help reduce bacteria and the chance of cavities. Gum disease is an unpleasant condition that can affect more than our oral health.

Gum Disease Explained

Gums become inflamed when poor dental hygiene has caused a build-up of bacteria on the teeth and under the gum line, making the gums vulnerable to infection. When the immune system fights this infection, the gums become red and inflamed. This inflammation will remain until the infection is treated. The inflammation will, over time, erode the gums and bone structure that keep teeth in place. This results in periodontal disease, which is advanced gum disease.

Symptoms

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Red and inflamed gums
  • Gum recession
  • Loosening of teeth
  • The spaces between teeth changing.
  • Bad taste
  • Teeth falling out.

Many of these symptoms will not be present at the start of gum disease, which means that it may be advanced by the time the person is aware of it. Therefore, thorough oral hygiene is so important.

How gum disease affects your body

The bacteria in your mouth caused by gum disease can travel to other parts of your body. Some of the health problems this can cause include:

Heart disease – Bacteria entering the bloodstream can cause clotting that can clog arteries.

Stroke – If high levels of bacteria clog the carotid artery, it may increase stroke risk.

Dementia – It is thought that the inflammatory substances released by gum infections can cause brain inflammation and kill brain cells. This can increase the risk of dementia.

Respiratory issues – If bacteria reach the lungs, it could cause respiratory problems, including COPD and pneumonia.

Diabetes – This is a two-way link. People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. On the flip side, periodontal disease makes it harder to control blood sugar, increasing the risk of developing diabetes.

Erectile dysfunction – Periodontal bacteria could travel through the bloodstream, and this inflames blood vessels. This could block the flow of blood to the genitals.

Premature birth – An infection in a pregnant woman’s body increases her risk of early labour. This could bring many complications for the baby, including infections and breathing issues.

Cancer – Research has shown that gum disease can increase the risk of kidney cancer, oral cancers, blood-related cancers, and pancreatic cancer.

Preventing Gum Disease

There are several things you can do to minimise the risk of gum disease. These include:

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste and flossing twice a day
  • Clean the gaps between your teeth and under your gums.
  • Be sure not to miss hard to reach areas.
  • Change your toothbrush every three months.
  • Have regular dental and hygienist appointments.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Check for changes in your gums.

Contact Sovereign House to find out how we can help you on 01277 205605.

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