The Mouth-Body Connection
Sun City West, AZ
When most people think about gum disease, they tend to only think about the effects that gum disease has on the health of the mouth. Gum disease is a serious, progressive issue that does have a significant impact on your oral health. Plaque and bacteria attack your gums, causing irritation and swelling. Bacteria travel below the swollen gum line and begin attacking the periodontal ligaments and jawbone. While gum disease does have a severe impact on your oral health, causing gum recession, increasing your risk for cavities, and leading to tooth loss, it also has a severe impact on your whole-body health as well. Solutions Dental Implants is here to help.
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Studies have shown that individuals with gum disease have a higher instance of heart disease and other systemic diseases. In a study for the Journal of Periodontology, researchers found that the gums of patients with severe gum disease released higher levels of harmful bacterial components into the bloodstream. Once there, the bacteria could travel throughout the body, including the heart, causing harm. When bacteria are present, they trigger an inflammatory response from the immune system. If bacteria are present in the bloodstream, the blood vessels become swollen. This can restrict blood flow, which can then cause serious damage to the heart and other organs.
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Diabetics are much more likely to develop gum disease than those without. This is thought to be because those with diabetes are more likely to contract infections. Those with uncontrolled diabetes are at a greater risk than those who have the condition under control. Research also suggests that diabetics with gum disease may have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels. Severe gum disease can increase blood sugar, which puts those with diabetes at risk of facing serious complications.
Gum Disease and Respiratory Health
When you have gum disease, your mouth is filled with bacteria. If you breathe in through your mouth, you can inhale some of these bacteria into your lungs. Your lungs are warm and moist, the perfect environment for hosting bacterial growth. As the bacteria begin to multiply, they can lead to serious issues such as pneumonia. Bacterial growth can also worsen the effects of asthma and COPD.
Those with respiratory issues often have a lower immune function. With lower immunity, bacteria can take hold in the gums more easily. As a result, gum disease can progress faster and puts individuals at risk for developing more serious respiratory complications.
Gum Disease and Pregnancy
Women who are pregnant are at an increased risk of developing gum disease. This is due to the changes in hormones. The hormones that are responsible for the development of the placenta can also impact the gums, causing them to bleed more easily. The fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone, as well as a lower immune response, can also contribute to gum disease development. Pregnant women who also have gum disease are at an increased risk of preterm birth, birth before 37 weeks, as well as low birth weight.
If you have developed gum disease, getting treatment is not just important for your oral health, it is also essential for your whole-body health. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Solutions Dental Implants at (623) 556-5442 today.