How Gum Disease Affects Overall Health 

How Gum Disease Affects Overall Health 

Apr 01, 2020

Systemic disease describes conditions that affect the organs and tissues in the body. These conditions can lower your body’s ability to fight inflammation and infection. Research reports that there might be a link between gum disease and systemic disease.

Periodontal disease is a common dental condition affecting over 64.1 million adults above 30 years. Periodontal disease starts with gingivitis, an inflammation affecting the gingiva or gums, and is reversible with proper dental hygiene.

Periodontitis is an advanced infection that causes tissue destruction and alveolar bone reabsorption. The infection also results in the periodontal ligament and collagen fiber breakdown, causing pocket formation between the gum and teeth. This tissue destruction is irreversible.

Since gum disease progresses slowly and is asymptomatic in the initial stages, most patients are unaware of the infection until it has advanced to affect the teeth.

Systemic conditions linked to gum disease include diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and stroke.

Gum Disease Impairs Your Blood Sugar

Diabetes increases the risk of periodontal disease because of poor blood sugar control. Diabetes and gum disease are intertwined. On the one hand, high blood sugar impairs the body’s ability to fight infections. On the other, gum disease either decreases blood glucose control and insulin resistance or increases the glucose level. Hyperglycemia enables germs and bacteria to grow because oral bacteria feed on sugar.

Periodontal Disease Can Cause the Hardening of the Arteries and Heart Disease

Although they are not directly linked, current research states people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease. This is mostly because of the shared risk factors such as smoking and unhealthy diet.

Gum disease increases inflammation, which can cause the narrowing and hardening of the arteries, which predisposes you to stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

Excess Body Increases Risk of Periodontitis

Obesity is a contributing factor to periodontal disease. Excess body weight increases overall inflammation, which affects the immune system and further increases the risk of periodontal disease. Furthermore, inflammation decreases blood flow and supply to the gums and causes the progression of the infection.

How Can You Tell You Have Gum Disease?

It can be challenging to detect if you have periodontal disease because the condition may not cause any symptoms in the beginning. But, pay attention to any changes in your gum and dental health. Some of the early signs of gum infection may include:

  • Bad breath
  • Swollen gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums (usually indicates early stages of periodontitis)
  • Loose and shifting teeth

It is essential to check your gums daily, especially if you have any of the associated gum risk factors such as smoking, 65 years or older, genetics, stress, bruxism, and certain medications.

What Are the Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease?

Maintaining proper hygiene is the preferred treatment of gum disease. However, the dentist may also do a deep cleaning to remove any tartar buildup, which causes gum pocketing.

In advance stages, our periodontist in Paramus will perform scaling and root planing. This treatment involves cleaning the pockets and closing them. Surgery such as bone and gum graft are treatment options if the other periodontal disease treatments are not successful.

Antibiotics also help to reduce the effects of the infection and inflammation and reverse the gum disease.

What to Expect of Your Periodontist Appointment?

During your consultation, the dentist will perform a series of tests to determine the severity of the condition. X-rays and other digital imaging may be done. Plus, the dentist will also measure the deep pockets and determine the best treatment options.

How to Prevent Gum Disease?

Gum disease is common and can develop at any time. However, regular dental checkups and cleaning will help to prevent the accumulation of tartar. Additionally, avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and eat healthy to boost immunity and enable the body to fight any infection.

Take Away

Since gum disease is slow and causes no symptoms in the initial stages, it can be challenging to detect the problem. It is, therefore, essential to visit Paramus Park Mall Dental for your regular dental checkup and assessment.