It’s estimated that over 64 million Americans have some form of gum disease. Ranging from
mild to severe, this is one health problem you shouldn’t ignore. If you have any of the signs of
gum disease—from bleeding while brushing to chronic bad breath—it’s imperative that you get
a dental checkup as soon as possible.
But why? Gum disease is more than just an inconvenience. It has the potential to be dangerous
to your entire body, not just your mouth. Here’s how having any form of gum disease can
impact your health!
Gum Disease Is Connected to Other Diseases
Research has shown links between gum disease and other diseases. Not only is gum disease
associated with diabetes, but it may also play a role in your risk for stroke, heart disease, and
even certain cancers. If you’re an expecting mother, gum disease increases your chances for
giving birth to a premature baby or a baby who’s underweight.
How do these links exist? Although more research is needed, experts speculate that the
bacteria involved in gum disease can enter the bloodstream and causing problems. This makes
sense considering that the same bacteria that’s been found in oral plaque has also been found
in arterial plaque of those with heart disease.
Chronic Inflammation May Play a Role
The inflammation involved in gum disease may actually increase your chances for plaque in the
arteries and is suspected to also play a role in diabetes, kidney disease, and arthritis. Even
certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, may be affected by this inflammation.
When you have gum disease, your gums are inflamed and fighting an infection. This
inflammation is ongoing until the underlying bacteria have been removed and your mouth is
able to heal. While this inflammation rages on, it may affect other tissues in your body and
increase your chances for inflammation and aggravation there too.
Your Immune System Is Affected
Since gum disease indicates there’s an infection in your gums, your body is trying to fight this
infection off. In certain cases, gum disease causes pockets of infection to form when gums
begin to pull back from the teeth. Unless a deep cleaning is performed and your dentist
addresses your gum disease, your body won’t be able to take care of the problem by itself.
Since your body is constantly at war with the infection, this can aggravate and tax your immune
system. This may make you more susceptible to illnesses since your immune system is
constantly working to try and get rid of the bacterial infection associated with your gum
disease. Don’t burden your immune system—get your gum disease treated now for total
If you’re experiencing any signs of gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist
today. Due to growing research that links gum disease to other illnesses, as well as chronic
inflammation and stress on the immune system, it’s paramount to get the problem addressed
sooner rather than later!