Periodontal Gum Disease

Mouth and Body Connection

periodontal disease and connection to personal healthGum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a chronic infection that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. However, the impact of gum disease extends beyond the mouth. The bacteria present in gum disease can enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body, contributing to the development or worsening of certain health conditions.

Here are some ways in which gum disease can affect your overall health:

  • Cardiovascular System: The bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream and attach to the blood vessels, potentially leading to inflammation and the formation of arterial plaques. This increases the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
  • Immune System: The body's inflammatory response to gum disease can trigger or worsen inflammation in other parts of the body, potentially exacerbating conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and certain respiratory diseases.
  • Respiratory System: As you mentioned, the bacteria from gum disease can be inhaled into the lungs, leading to respiratory infections and aggravating conditions such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Diabetes: Gum disease can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. Conversely, uncontrolled diabetes can also increase the risk of developing gum disease.

Check out these articles:

Gum Disease Linked to Heart Disease and Stroke
Study Finds a Direct Association between Heart Disease and Periodontal Bacteria
Presence of Gum Disease May Help Dentists and Physicians Identify Those at Increased Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Maintaining good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental visits, can help prevent gum disease and reduce the risk of associated systemic health issues. It's essential to consult with both your dentist and physician to ensure comprehensive care and address any potential concerns.

If you have specific questions or concerns about your oral health, it is recommended to consult with Michael R. Gomez, DDS. Our dental team in Santa Maria will be able to provide you with personalized advice and guidance to better oral health.

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