May 2, 2017
You take great care to ensure the health of your teeth and gums with proper dental hygiene and regular visits to your dentist. You work hard to promote the beauty of your teeth, but did you know your dental health is intertwined with your overall health? If you develop periodontal disease, your systemic health can suffer serious consequences. According to extensive research, periodontal disease drastically increases your risk for potentially deadly health complications, including cardiovascular disease. As your dentist in Rocky River, Dr. William Eick wants to promote your overall well-being by maintaining healthy gums.
Periodontal Disease and Systemic Health
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is an infection that develops in the gum tissue, often due to poor oral hygiene. When the teeth are not cleaned properly, plaque and tarter begin to accumulate. The bacteria found in the buildup causes the gums to become infected. When left untreated, it will cause serious oral health complications, like tooth loss. However, recent research links the bacteria found in gum disease to contribute to severe overall health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections.
Untreated gum disease causes the bacteria to enter the bloodstream. As it circulates throughout the body, it causes the arteries and blood vessels to become inflamed. This causes the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. As a result, you develop an increased risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Advanced stages of gum disease significantly increase the risk for developing diabetes or worsening of complications from the condition. Not to mention, since diabetes decreases the body’s ability to heal and fight infections, gum disease becomes harder to treat. With the infection impacting blood glucose levels, it can increase insulin resistance for those who may or may not already have diabetes.
Gum disease can also cause complications for pregnant women. In fact, research shows the infection increases the likeliness for premature birth and low birth weights. Although many feel dental care is not safe during pregnancy, there are safe periodontal treatments that can be used to improve periodontal health.
Other Systemic Complications
Untreated gum disease will wreak havoc throughout the body. It is known to increase the risk for respiratory illness, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia. There is also a connection between the bacteria and the development of chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s Disease. Those who are obese are more prone to develop the infection, which can also increase the risk for metabolic syndrome and cancer.
Protect Your Dental Health
Although there is already clear evidence that connects gum disease to systemic health issues, there are sure to be additional issues found in the future. To protect your gum and overall health, you must maintain your dental hygiene and visit your family dentist in Rocky River twice a year.
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