If you have a family history of gum disease, it’s wise to learn as much as you can about the condition so you can avoid developing it yourself. Even if periodontal disease doesn’t run in your family, you can still develop it if you don’t follow a strict oral hygiene routine. There are also other factors that can contribute to periodontal disease, including certain medications that irritate the gum tissue. Unfortunately, if you develop gum disease it can affect much more than just your oral health. Here’s what you should know about how periodontal disease can potentially harm the overall health of your body.
The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can also infect the lungs and cause problems with respiratory function. Your risk of developing a respiratory infection increases if you have a history of smoking.
While more research is needed to explore the connection between dementia and periodontal disease, there are a few small studies that show a correlation between the two. In one study conducted on individuals between ages 75 and 98, results showed that those who had extensive tooth loss were more likely to show symptoms of dementia.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes pain and swelling in the joints. Researchers believe that inflammation is the key element that links rheumatoid arthritis to gum disease. They theorize that because periodontal disease causes oral inflammation, its presence in the body directly increases the risk of inflammatory conditions in other parts of the body.
Coronary Artery Disease
Those who have periodontal disease are much more likely than those with healthy gums to develop coronary artery disease. Research suggests that the same bacteria known to cause gum disease can travel to the heart via the bloodstream and cause inflammation there as well. The inflammation contributes to clot formation typical of coronary artery disease.
See Your Dentist
For the sake of your oral and overall health, it’s imperative to see your dentist as soon as you notice symptoms of periodontal disease. Contact Southpark Dental Group today to schedule your appointment with Dr. John Cervenka.