Periodontal disease is a common oral health condition that is suspected of affecting nearly half of all adults over the age of 30. While a number of lifestyle habits can affect your probability of having gum disease, many people are unaware that gum disease can have substantial ties to other health conditions. Periodontitis has been linked to everything from systematic diseases to organ and tissue damage. Take a look at a few of the concerning health conditions that may have a link to gum disease.
When you have gum disease, you essentially have an over-accumulation of dangerous bacteria in your mouth. The body works really hard to try to combat the bacteria, and you may have substantial inflammation because of the physiologic response. Unfortunately, prolonged inflammation of the gums can lead to blood vessel damage that can affect the heart. The inflammatory markers caused by gum disease can be found in the bloodstream, and the blood travels through the circulatory system, including the heart.
Gum disease has close ties to diabetes, but, typically, people perceive that individuals who have diabetes first may simply be more likely to have gum disease. While that is a true perception, gum disease may also help encourage diabetes. Gum disease has actually been shown to heighten blood glucose levels, which may lead to diabetes over time, according to research published by the American Dental Association.
The increase in inflammation that can lead to damage in your heart may also be the culprit behind damage to blood vessels in the brain linked to gum disease. Researchers have suggested that the antibodies the body creates in response to oral bacteria can get into the bloodstream and end up in the brain as well. Studies have shown that older individuals with gum disease may have heightened risks for developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Deter Gum Disease with the Help of Your Long Beach Dentist
Your gums are an ever-important part of your oral health. At the office of Dr. Andy Tang, DDS, we offer gum disease therapy to help keep your gum health in check. Reach out to us to schedule an appointment today if you suspect you have issues with gum disease.