How Gum Disease Affects Your Health

gum disease patient with heart trouble

If you didn’t already know it, gum disease — also called periodontitis or periodontal disease — is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. But it’s not just your smile that’s at risk. Having active gum disease can lead to a host of other health complications if left untreated.

 

Here are just a few:

Diabetes — Gum disease makes it difficult, if not impossible, to manage glucose levels in people with diabetes. Researchers have suggested that the cyclic condition of glucose and gum disease constantly worsening the other is best treated through improved dental care.

 

Cardiovascular Disease, Heart Attack, High Blood Pressure, and Stroke — Oral biofilm associated with gum disease can become dislodged, spreading into the bloodstream. It’s been found in arterial walls of people with cardiovascular problems. It also aggravates the body’s inflammatory process, which is dangerous for patients with heart disease and high blood pressure.

 

Reproductive Health and Pregnancy Concerns — Research shows that couples trying to conceive with active gum disease in one of the partners tend to take longer to become pregnant than couples without periodontitis. Fortunately, the same studies show that being treated for gum disease can increase fertility rates.

Along those lines, gum disease is also shown to have a direct link with erectile dysfunction (ED) in men, and preeclampsia and premature labour in women.

 

Pneumonia — Inhalation of gum disease bacteria can lead to respiratory diseases, which may prove deadly in seniors. If you have a loved one in a residential facility or with physical challenges, talk to our Wyndham dentists about some ways you can help.

 

Healthy Smile, Healthy Life

To keep your gums healthy, we recommend scheduling a scale and clean at Wyndham Dental every six months. If you’re currently suffering from gum disease, you may need to be seen as often as four times per year until symptoms improve.