Gum disease or periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and can not only cause physical damage, but it can affect a person psychologically. However, there are some dangerous effects of advanced gum disease you want to avoid.
Signs of Gum Disease
While some signs such as reddened or inflamed gums, loose teeth, or pain when chewing can be symptoms of gum disease, it can be hard to realize the disease has reached its advanced stages.
Gum Disease and Overall Health
Gum disease or periodontitis can lead to tooth loss due to decay and gum inflammation, but it can also present other serious problems to your overall health. Like with any other inflammation in your body, if advanced gum disease isn’t treated, it can affect other conditions.
If you have a weakened immune system due to cancer treatment, for example, your body may not be able to fight the inflammation caused by advanced gum disease and that can put you at risk for more serious problems. Other conditions that can be impacted by advanced gum disease are:
Diabetes – People with diabetes are more susceptible to infections and are more likely to suffer from gum disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), periodontal disease is considered a complication from diabetes, because it can increase blood sugar and puts people who suffer from this condition at risk of other complications.
- Heart disease – According to several studies, periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. The connection exists, but it is not known how one affects the other or vice versa. However, scientists have concluded that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.
- Stroke – Similarly to heart disease, there is a connection between periodontal disease and stroke. In a study, people who suffer from acute cerebrovascular ischemia were more likely to have an oral infection than those without the condition.
Given the gravity of gum disease, here are just a few tips from the Mugford Center on how to protect yourself:
- Practice good oral hygiene: The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash.
Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help protect your teeth and gums from gum disease. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and avoid sugary and starchy foods.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking is a significant risk factor for gum disease. If you smoke, talk to your dentist or doctor about ways to quit.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups can help detect gum disease early and prevent it from progressing. Your dentist can also recommend treatments to help prevent or treat gum disease.
It is best that you keep your regular checkups and let us know if anything in your health has changed. Gum disease is a serious dental condition that can have significant consequences for your oral and overall health. By taking precautions against gum disease, you can protect your teeth, your bones, and your overall health. Practice good oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking, and visit your dentist regularly to keep your gums healthy and prevent gum disease from developing or progressing.