Research from the American Academy of Periodontology suggests that as much as 75 percent of Americans are suffering from a form of gum disease. This could range from mind gingivitis, or gum bleeding, to serious periodontitis. Any form of gum disease can have a serious impact on the health of the rest of your body. It has been linked to such diseases as heart disease, diabetes, and even certain forms of cancer.
Nevertheless, as little as 3 percent of Americans seek medical consultation or treatment for their gum disease. It is important to understand the risks you take by letting even mild gum disease progress without treatment.
At its basis, gum disease is a bacterial infection which affects the tissue supporting the teeth. This bacteria is usually a direct result of plaque buildup on the surfaces of your teeth. Gum disease occurs when the body overreacts to these bacteria causing excessive gum inflammation. This inflammation can eventually cause damage to the blood vessels of the heart and brain. In combination with fatty deposits, inflammation can lead to dangerous plaque build-up. This build-up can hinder blood flow, leading to an accumulation of blood platelets that can cause a blood clot. The inflammation resulting from gum disease can put you at greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other dangerous cardiovascular conditions.
The bacteria associated with gum disease can affect other vital areas of the body as well. One of these areas is lung tissue. Recent research has found the same bacteria present in diseased gums are in the lung tissue of patients suffering from lung abscesses. This research has revealed a link between gum disease and respiratory disease. Another area at risk for patients with gum disease is the brain. Experts have found the bacteria behind Alzheimer’s Disease present in periodontal pockets and along nerves connecting teeth to brain tissue. Further research has found that when this bacteria comes into contact with brain cultures, they lead to the formation of beta amyloid, which is the leading substance responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Gum disease can be particularly dangerous and difficult to manage for particular patients, including diabetics and pregnant women. Diabetics who also have gum disease typically suffer from even higher blood sugar levels. This requires more treatment and medication to responsibly manage diabetes; however, effective gum disease treatment proved to maintain lower blood sugar levels for up to 3 months. Pregnant women are at higher risk for developing gum disease, which can lead to contraction of the uterus. This lead to a 57 percent increased chance of giving birth to a baby with a dangerously low birth rate and a 50 percent greater chance to giving birth prematurely.
Gum disease research is being conducted and advanced every day; however, experts have already identified an important link between gum health and the overall health of your entire body. Don’t let your gum disease go untreated, contact Lynn Dental Care today to protect a long life of a healthy smile.