8 Unexpected Ways Gum Disease Impacts Your Health

Periodontal disease is an infection in the soft tissue of your gums. This type of infection develops when you allow bacteria, or plaque, to build up on your teeth and harden into tartar.

The symptoms of gum disease typically include:

Ignoring gum disease leads to several dental issues, like oral infections, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Your mouth is also an entry point for your entire body, so gum disease can lead to serious and unexpected health risks as well, including the following conditions:

  1. Cardiovascular Disease

The same bacteria that’s causing inflammation in your gums can also enter your bloodstream. When this occurs, plaque can build up in your arteries and harden. Hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, is a dangerous condition that restricts blood flow, creates blockages, and increases your risk of heart attack.

  1. Kidney disease

When you have infections in your body like gum disease, they can easily spread to your kidneys. Kidney disease is a progressive disorder that causes your kidneys to stop functioning correctly over time. This potentially fatal condition can lead to cardiovascular disease and kidney failure.

  1. Respiratory infections

Not only can the bacteria that causes gum disease travel to your lungs in your bloodstream, but each time you inhale, you send bacteria straight to your lungs through your breath. When oral bacteria enter your lungs, you have a higher risk of developing pneumonia, bronchitis, and respiratory infections.

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that can affect your joints, your heart and blood vessels, and several other bodily systems. If you have gum disease, your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis is four times higher, because the bacteria in your mouth can increase inflammation throughout your entire body.

  1. Cancer

Gum disease can significantly increase your risks for certain cancers, especially those in the blood. If you have periodontal disease, your risk of developing cancer is 14% overall, but some cancers are elevated to 30% and higher. While the exact reason for the gum disease and cancer connection isn’t clear, researchers believe it’s associated with the increased inflammation in the body.

  1. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

When you have gum disease, your mouth releases substances that can kill your brain cells. As these brain cells die and oral bacteria enter your bloodstream or nerve channels, you can suffer from memory loss and even develop Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Erectile dysfunction

Chronic gum disease is a significant contributor to erectile dysfunction in men. As oral bacteria from your diseased gums enter your bloodstream, your blood vessels can become inflamed, reducing blood flow to your genitals. Without adequate blood flow, it can be difficult to achieve or sustain an erection.

  1. Fertility issues and pregnancy complications

Men aren’t the only ones who can experience reproductive problems from gum disease; it’s also linked to infertility and pregnancy complications in women. In addition to facing more difficulty becoming pregnant, women with gum disease have higher instances of low birth weights and premature deliveries.

The primary cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, only a professional cleaning can completely remove tartar buildup. The Dental Illusions team also offer comfortable periodontal treatment solutions like laser therapy.

Take steps to protect your health from gum disease — call Dental Illusions or schedule an appointment online today.

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