Gum disease is surprisingly common, with an estimated 64.7 million adults in the United States living with the more advanced form of the disease (called periodontitis). While most people are aware of the oral symptoms associated with the condition (including chronic halitosis, bleeding gums and tooth loss), many are unaware that periodontal disease has also been linked to other physical diseases. If you or someone you know has gum disease, here are a few of the hidden dangers you should be aware of.
Heart disease seems to be a completely separate issue from periodontal disease, but research shows a link between the two. Although the relationship is not yet fully understood, researchers believe it has something to do with inflammation.
Gum tissue is very vascular, which means bacteria that lead to inflammation in the mouth can easily spread to the bloodstream and cause inflammation in other parts of the body. Inflammation is believed to cause damage to blood vessels in the heart and other areas of the body over time. If left untreated by an experienced dentist like Dr. Cervenka, periodontal disease could lead to a greater risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
The link between periodontal disease and stroke is also likely based on inflammation. Stroke is the third leading cause of death worldwide, according to The Journal of Leukocyte Biology, and inflammation plays an important role in the condition. Untreated periodontal disease can cause elevated inflammation levels throughout the body and increase the likelihood of stroke occurrence.
People who already have diabetes may struggle to control their symptoms if they also have periodontal disease. This is partially because of the systemic inflammation gum disease can contribute to or cause. Inflammation is one of the primary contributing factors for diabetes complications, so it is important to keep it under control.
Schedule Your Treatment
If you currently have symptoms of gum disease, it is imperative to seek treatment for the sake of your oral and overall health. To schedule an appointment with Dr. John Cervenka, respected dentist, call Southpark Dental Group in Orlando, FL today.