Periodontal (gum) disease is a serious condition that affects nearly half of all American adults. Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss. But it doesn’t just affect your mouth. Your oral health is connected to your whole-body health, and untreated gum disease can affect your overall health in lots of different ways. In this blog from Carmel Mountain Dental Care, we’ll look at just a few of the top ways that periodontal disease can negatively affect your overall health.
As your gums react to the presence of bacteria, they become inflamed. Some studies have shown that these bacteria and your inflammatory response can spread beyond your mouth, and lead to inflammation in the heart and blood vessels.
This, in turn, raises the risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attack and stroke. People with untreated, severe gum disease have a 2-3x higher risk of a heart attack, stroke, or another serious cardiovascular event.
If you have diabetes, you have a higher risk of gum disease, particularly if you’re not controlling your blood sugar properly. Elevated blood sugar levels make it easier for bacteria to form into plaque and tartar, which can raise your risk of developing gum disease. And once you have gum disease as a diabetic, it’s more difficult to control or reverse its effects.
That’s not all, though. Some studies have shown that severe gum disease can actually increase blood sugar levels. That means that not only do diabetics have a higher risk of gum disease, but gum disease could also directly lead to a higher risk of developing diabetes, or worsen an existing case of diabetes.
In gum disease, high levels of bacteria are present in your mouth. These bacteria won’t necessarily stay in your mouth. As you breathe, you could inhale them, which leads to a higher risk of respiratory infections and inflammation. A 2013 study suggests a link between gum disease and a higher risk of respiratory complications including bacterial pneumonia and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
This may be especially problematic for smokers. Tobacco users have a much higher risk of developing gum disease as well as respiratory problems. Gum disease and regular tobacco use combined could lead to much worse health outcomes.
Severe and untreated gum disease can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, loosen your teeth, or even cause teeth to fall out of your mouth entirely. Naturally, this will make it harder to live your normal day-to-day life, and to eat nutritious foods like whole grains, lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and more.
In turn, inadequate nutrition can make it harder for you to recover from gum disease, and leads to poor overall health outcomes. A healthy diet is essential for both your oral health and your overall health, and gum disease is a major factor that may stop you from eating a balanced, healthy diet.
Serious cases of gum disease cannot be fully reversed. But no matter how severe your condition is, the team at Carmel Mountain Dental Care is here to help. We offer advanced periodontal care in San Diego, and we can work with you to restore your gums and your smile. So don’t wait. Take control of your oral health and your overall health, too. Contact us online or give us a call at (858) 484-4880 to schedule a consultation today.
First visit to Carmel Mountain Dental Care? Schedule your New Patient Appointment today to meet the team and get the quality care you deserve at Carmel Mountain Dental Care in Rancho Peñasquitos. Our New Patient Special includes a comprehensive exam, cleaning, x-rays, and a personalized treatment plan.