Periodontitis, commonly known as gum disease, begins with
bacteria. There are over 700 species of bacteria in the human mouth, with about 300 of them contributing in some way to the biofilm, or plaque, that forms in gum pockets during the course of periodontal disease. However, there are a few of these bacteria that contribute in significant ways to gum disease. These bacteria are referred to as periodontal pathogens. A few examples of these pathogens include:
- Porphyromonas gingivalis, which plays a large role in chronic adult periodontal disease and has been linked with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, associated with localized juvenile periodontitis, might also be involved in plaque buildup in your arteries and systemic infections.
- Prevotella intermedia is associated with a form of gingivitis known as “trench mouth,” which involves open ulcers in the gum tissue between teeth.
- Treponema denticola, also associated with trench mouth, is another common cause of periodontal disease.
Aside from causing problems for your gums, these and other bacteria have an effect on other areas of your health, such as the relationship that P. gingivalis has with rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, periodontal disease has an effect on other aspects of your health as bacteria makes its way into your bloodstream. Some conditions include:
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
As bacteria makes its way to other areas of the body, it will cause inflammation, which is never good for areas such as your heart or joints.
A high concentration of certain periodontal pathogens will make gum disease much more likely, so keeping up on your oral hygiene is an absolute must to preventing periodontitis and other health problems. In addition, a visit to your dentist twice every year will get you the extra cleaning and oral health advice you need to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Lynn Dental Care can provide that service to you, so call us today to schedule a consultation.