Can gum disease lead to other serious health problems?

28 December 2016

Did you know that periodontal disease—more commonly known as gum disease—does not only affect the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth? In this blog post, we’ll explain how diseases like gingivitis or periodontitis can lead to other serious health issues that go beyond the oral cavity, and provide a few preventative measures you can take to ensure an overall healthy self.  

How can gum-related disease affect other parts of the body?

Multiple studies have confirmed that infections of the mouth, such as gingivitis or periodontitis, can have a negative impact on your overall health. These infections, whether major or minor, can spread from your mouth to other parts of your body in one of two ways:  

1.     Via a direct route like your throat  

2.     Via toxins produced by microorganisms found in your mouth    

Thus, Bacteria generated as a result of gum-related disease are known to commonly affect the following systems: 

·       Cardiovascular (organs responsible for blood circulation)

·       Endocrine (glands responsible for hormone production)

·       Musculoskeletal (tendons, muscles and bones)

·       Reproductive (genitalia)

·       Respiratory (organs responsible for the exchange of oxygen)

Which illnesses have a direct link to gum-related disease?

Scientists have discovered that certain illnesses are influenced or aggravated by infections of the mouth, notably:

·       Cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis, stroke and endocarditis

·       Type 2 diabetes

·       Pulmonary infections like bronchitis, pneumonia and emphysema

Furthermore, pregnant women suffering from periodontitis are at greater risk of going into premature labour or giving birth to a child of unhealthy weight. If you’re pregnant or foresee becoming pregnant, make sure to consult your dentist about the health of your gums. Certain gum-related diseases are asymptomatic, meaning you might not even be aware that the tissues in your mouth are infected.

How to prevent gum-related disease?

To ensure optimal health, adopt hygienic habits like brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily and scheduling regular visits to the dentist. Also, make sure to maintain a healthy diet, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, learn how to better manage stress and most importantly, stop smoking. Taken together, all of these practices will greatly reduce your risk of developing gum disease.

At Centre Dentaire Daneault, we treat your gums with quality care. If you’re looking for a reputable dentist in Sainte-Thérèse or Blainville for a standard cleaning, teeth whitening or dental emergency, contact us today! 

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