How Gum Disease Can Affect the Rest of Your Body
Making the Connection!
Researchers are providing more evidence each day of an important connection between your overall health and oral health. Here are just some of the ways in which periodontal disease, or gum disease, may affect other conditions you have or those that may develop.
With heart disease and stroke, the facts are compelling. People with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary disease as those with disease-free gums. One study found that 85% of heart patients studied had periodontal disease. The most likely explanation is that somehow plaque and oral bacteria that find their way into the blood stream and contribute to the thickening of the walls of the coronary arties.
Diabetes and gum disease affect each other equally. Diabetics are more likely to have gum disease than most people. Gum disease itself makes it more difficult for the diabetic to control blood-sugar levels.
The fact of the matter is, periodontal health is a top priority for your overall continuing health.
- Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day. Clean between your teeth with floss or another type of interdental cleaner once a day.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks, which may reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups. Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar which traps plaque bacteria.
- If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, pay attention to your teeth and gums. That’s because pregnancy- and the changing hormone levels that occur with it- can exaggerate some dental problems. Taking good care of your oral health is important for you and your baby.
- Researchers have found that periodontitis (the advanced form of gum disease that can cause tooth loss) is linked with other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia.