Gum disease is a serious oral health problem for many adults that also impacts overall health. Incredibly common in the U.S., the CDC reports that 70.1% of adults over the age of 65 suffer from this condition.
While many people assume that periodontal disease is not that serious and that its impact is limited to the teeth and gums, research confirms that it also contributes to many other serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and respiratory conditions.
Periodontal disease is defined by infection and inflammation in the gums around the teeth and ultimately, in the bones that support the teeth. This condition can cause gum sensitivity, bleeding, pain, and even tooth loss. Risk factors associated with this disease are poor dental hygiene, smoking, genetics, age, and an unhealthy diet.
The good news is that you don’t have to suffer from gum disease forever. Treatment is available to manage this painful oral condition to avoid discomfort and the possibility of developing other serious chronic diseases.
The Link Between Heart Disease and Gum Health
The link between heart disease and gum disease can be found in the movement of bacteria through the body. Research indicates that when bacteria enter the bloodstream via the gums, these toxins can travel to the heart and cause inflammation. While it is true that not all heart disease patients have gum disease, there is evidence that there is a strong correlation that should not be ignored.
When inflammation is present for a long period of time, it can cause major problems. Organs and tissues are more likely to become compromised over time. This is why it is so important to address periodontal disease before it becomes a chronic condition and affects a person’s overall health.
Periodontal Disease and Brain Health
A strong connection between gum health and neurological conditions points to a link between periodontal disease and cognitive decline. Research has uncovered a correlation between the beta-amyloid present in the brains of gum disease patients and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, one type of bacteria known as porphyromonas gingivalis is often found in periodontal patients and also in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
While research is ongoing, it is evident that the goal of dental health professionals must be to aid in promoting oral health as a crucial step to improving overall health. Given the obvious links between oral health and brain health, individuals must be sure they are doing everything they can to prevent and treat gum disease.
Gum Disease and Other Health Conditions
Unfortunately, gum disease is linked to many other health conditions as well. Lung disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, and cancer are also believed to have strong ties to periodontal disease. Gum disease simply elevates the risk of these other serious health problems.
One possible explanation for why diabetes and gum disease appear to be related is that diabetic patients are more susceptible to infection. Some experts go so far as to say that periodontal disease is a common health complication associated with diabetes. Periodontal disease can cause increased sugar levels and contribute to dangerous health complications specific to diabetes.
Few words spread fear in the same way that cancer does. At first glance, the link between cancer and gum disease may not seem obvious. MedicalNewsToday reports that a 2008 study investigating ties between tooth loss and cancer found a definite connection. There was a small but substantial rise in cancer risk for the 48,375 study participants with periodontal disease.
Treatment and Prevention
Aside from committing to a proper oral hygiene regimen, the first step anyone should take to prevent serious health issues related to gum disease is to establish an ongoing relationship with a reputable periodontist like Dr. John Paul Gallardo. It is important to find an experienced and established professional who is capable of offering the best care possible.
In the course of treatment, patients might need deep cleaning, laser treatments, oral surgery, or even dental implants. There is no substitute for finding a periodontist you can trust who specializes in providing these services.
Treatment with Dr. Gallardo
Dr. Gallardo prides himself on customizing treatments to meet each patient’s individual needs. Even if you do need to lose one or more teeth to gum disease, there is good news: Dr. Gallardo also specializes in dental implants. Whether you need one dental implant or multiple teeth replaced, Dr. Gallardo ensures a perfect fit.
In one short day, it is possible to leave Dr. Gallardo’s office with new teeth that will make smiling and chewing easy again. It is no longer necessary to suffer for weeks with missing and failing teeth before returning to your normal routine.
It’s time to regain the health and vitality you desire while safeguarding your overall health. By maintaining your oral health and treating gum disease to keep it from becoming a painful and dangerous condition, you can take proactive action to prevent other serious health conditions.
Don’t wait to get started on the path to good oral health. For your private consultation, call Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry in Miami at 305-547-8687. Sedation dentistry, including IV sedation, is available to make our patients’ dental procedures as comfortable as possible.