It’s important to remember that the body isn’t compartmentalized into isolated systems, but that your health is the result of multiple parts of your body working in tandem. Continuing research has been revealing just how much your oral health is part of this connection, with recent data showing that an increased risk of heart disease can be directly connected to gum disease. The presence of inflammation in the gums has been shown to potentially lead to the narrowing of veins, contributing to problems related to heart disease.
It’s Not Just Heart Disease
In addition to contributing to occurrences of hearth disease, oral health that hasn’t been adequately cared for has been shown to contribute to other conditions as well. Below there is a list of other conditions that gum disease is related to:
- Osteoporosis: This condition leads to a reduction in bone density throughout the body, including the jawbone. Bone density loss in the jaw can result in loosening and even loss of teeth, as well as providing areas for gum disease to set in.
- Respiratory Disease: Gum disease is caused by the growth of bacteria in the mouth, bacteria that can migrate into the lungs causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. This becomes more common in patients who have gingivitis that has become periodontal disease.
- Cancer: Current research suggests that various forms of cancer may occur with more frequency in those patients who have gum disease, especially blood, kidney, and pancreatic cancers. Research is still ongoing on this connection.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Ongoing research has been showing a connection between gum disease and RA, but more evidence is needed before a definite relationship can be established.
In addition to these concerns, conditions like diabetes have been shown to increase a patients risk of gum disease, in part due to the increase in risk of infection and inflammation in general. Managed diabetes can help reduce the overall risk.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Gum Disease
Visiting your dentist on a regular basis is an essential part of keeping gum disease under control. They should be aware of any symptoms you have that suggest gum disease may be present. Stay on the lookout for the following signs:
- Chronic Halitosis (Bad Breath)
- Gums that are red and swollen
- Gums that are tender and prone to bleeding
- Pain that occurs while chewing
- Teeth that are highly sensitive
- Sunken teeth and receding gums
- Teeth that are becoming loose or changes in your bite
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms it’s time to contact your dentist and inform them about these symptoms. Southwest Family Dentistry has been serving patients in the Lake City, FL area under the guidance of Dr. John Batlle. The sooner you begin tackling these symptoms and getting your gingivitis under control the sooner you’ll start reducing your risk of diseases whose occurrence is increased by the presence of gum disease. Call Southwest Family Dentistry and make an appointment today!