How Does Gum Disease Affect Your Overall Health?
Most individuals will experience some degree of gum disease (medically referred to as periodontal disease) during their lives. This may begin with the less severe stage (gingivitis), but without proper oral care and treatment this can develop into a more advanced periodontitis. So, how does gum disease affect your overall health? The bacteria and inflammation that accompanies gum disease can actually enter the bloodstream and have serious effects throughout the rest of the body and vital organs. Without periodontal treatment, gum disease may lead to a variety of symptoms and has been linked to increased general health risks, including:
Oral Health Issues
- Swollen, irritated, or bleeding gums
- Receding gumlines
- Associated pain, especially while chewing
- Loose/shifting teeth or tooth loss
- Changes in bite alignment
- Chronic bad breath
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Pus or fluid discharge coming from the gumline
Systemic Health Issues
- Heart disease, heart attack, or stroke
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Pregnancy complications
- Sleep apnea
- Liver or kidney disease
The best way to prevent gum disease from progressing into more uncomfortable, harmful, or even life-threatening conditions is by making your at-home oral hygiene a priority along with regular visits to the dentist. Daily brushing and flossing, along with twice-annual professional dental cleanings and exams are simple yet effective ways of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Even if you are experiencing some form of existing gum disease, our experienced general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Robin Rutherford, offers a variety of advanced periodontal treatments to restore oral health. A few examples include saliva testing to diagnose certain forms of bacteria, laser treatments to remove disease and eliminate bacteria, and custom-made Perio Protect® trays to deliver medication below the gumline to treat gum disease in between routine cleanings.
Dr. Rutherford and the team at The Art of Dentistry have been ranked in the top 1% of dental practices nationwide and do their best to ensure each patient receives compassionate, quality care with the least amount of invasive restorative solutions that are possible. If you would like to learn more about gum disease prevention and preserving your overall health, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!