Your smile directly impacts your overall wellbeing. From broken teeth compromising your ability to bite and chew correctly to poor bite alignment causing jaw joint pain, it’s clear that damage to the dentition can cause serious overall health problems. One of the most obvious instances where oral health can negatively influence overall wellness is with gum disease. While easy to prevent, it doesn’t take long for gum disease to begin exacerbating existing health problems and influencing an individual’s health. At Pristine Periodontics and Implants, our goal is to help educate patients on the symptoms as well as health consequences of periodontal disease.
Gum Disease and the Heart
In recent years, studies have suggested that there is a strong correlation between periodontal disease and the development of heart disease or other cardiac problems. In a 2017 study, researchers suggested that this link is due to the fact that both diseases are caused by the same bacteria. In periodontal disease, the bacteria erode the gums and connective tissue that hold teeth in place, causing inflammation. Over the course of the disease, it is suggested that the same bacteria enter the bloodstream and circulatory system. In response to the new infection, inflammation occurs, this time in the blood vessels. Ultimately, this can lead to the development of arterial plaque and clots, both of which are contributing factors in heart attacks and strokes.
Among American adults, cardiovascular disease and stroke are leading causes of death, with stroke accounting for 16.5% of deaths and heart failure accounting for 8.5% of cardiovascular disease-related deaths. In one estimate by the American Heart Association, about 92.1 million American adults are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke. While gum disease may not directly cause these conditions, there is strong enough evidence to suggest that the oral condition can increase an individual’s risk of developing these serious health problems..
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Diabetes is another condition studies have suggested is indirectly influenced by gum disease. In individuals with uncontrolled gum disease as well as those at risk of developing diabetes, gum disease increases blood sugar levels, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to breed. As a result, this oral condition can quickly progress into periodontitis and advanced periodontitis without proactive treatment. Likewise, the increase in gum disease-causing bacteria makes it difficult for diabetic patients or at-risk patients to control their blood sugar, leading to a worsening of the condition.
Gum Disease and Pregnancy
For pregnant women, gum disease poses a threat not only to the mother but also to the unborn child. Fluctuations in hormone levels, as well as increased risk of gestational diabetes can contribute to the development of gingivitis or periodontitis during pregnancy. The danger comes in the inflammation caused by bacteria. Over the course of the disease, the bacteria releases toxins that trigger an inflammatory response. This combination puts the pregnancy at high risk of several critical adverse results, including low birth weight, preeclampsia, premature birth, and even miscarriage.
Treat Gum Disease Today with Dr. Sayed
Without comprehensive and effective treatment, gum disease can quickly compromise your quality of life and put you at risk of serious secondary health issues. In Birmingham, MI, periodontist Dr. Sayed is equally passionate about educating patients on the health risks associated with gum disease and on helping individuals with the condition get appropriate treatment. Call our office today to learn more about the long-term health consequences of the periodontitis and get the comprehensive care you deserve.