If you’ve ever noticed a spot of blood in the sink after you brush or floss, you might have gum disease. Gum disease is a bacterial infection in your gum tissue that causes tenderness, redness, soreness, and easy bleeding. About half of all adults in the U.S. will have it at some point, but sometimes they have more than gum disease in West Cobb. The condition has been linked to several other health issues. Let’s take a closer look at 5 of them.
People with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease than those without diabetes. The connection is not entirely understood, but inflammation may play a key role. In addition, diabetics are more likely to contract infections. People with type 1 in particular may have a harder time fighting off those infections. If your diabetes is not under tight control, you are even more at risk for gum disease.
2. Heart Disease
When you have gum disease, the bacteria in your mouth create pockets between your gums and teeth that allow them to reach your bloodstream and travel throughout the body. They can travel to your heart and set off a chain reaction of inflammation that can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease linked with painful joints and inflammation, the latter of which is also characteristic of gum disease. Although there is no evidence of a direct relationship between the two, a 2009 study found that people with RA has less pain and swelling in their joints after their gum disease was treated.
Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of dementia in older patients. Those with gum disease tended to score lower on memory tests. The link might be due to dementia making it harder to remember to brush and floss.
5. Birth Complications
Some studies have shown that women with gum disease are more likely to give birth prematurely, but others have found no such link. The relationship has not been proven one way or the other.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
You can decrease your risk of gum disease by:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- Flossing every day
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting sugary snacks and beverages
- Visiting your dentist in West Cobb at least every 6 months
By taking care of your gums, you can preserve not only your oral health, but the health of your entire body as well. Contact your dentist for more info on how to defeat gum disease.