How Gum Disease Affects Your General Health and Wellness

Jul 8, 2014 @ 10:18 AM — by Byron Wall

A woman smiles outdoors near her homeThe Albuquerque-based dental practice of Dr. Byron Wall offers the latest in restorative dentistry and preventative care as well as state-of-the-art cosmetic treatments, allowing you to have a smile that's health as well as beautiful. This means treating the teeth as well as the gums, the latter being especially important since so many people take their periodontal health for granted. They shouldn't because as you are about to read, the health of your gums can have a major impact on your general wellness.

About Gum Disease

Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gums. This is caused by the bacteria that naturally occurs inside of the mouth. There are three different stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Symptoms such as bleeding gums, gum recession, gum discoloration, and bad breath become worse as the gum disease progresses. Left untreated, advanced gum disease can lead to tooth misalignment, loose teeth, and tooth loss.

Links Between Gum Disease and Diabetes

When a person suffers from diabetes, he or she tends to be more prone to infection. It should come as little surprise then that people who suffer from diabetes are more likely to suffer from gum disease.

Heart Disease and Its Ties to Gum Disease

There have been a number of studies in recent years that have noted a correlation between gum disease and heart disease. As more research continues to come in, the exact nature of this correlation should become better understood, though breakthroughs in another kind of research may suggest a connection to the nature of the oral bacteria itself.

A Connection Between Gum Disease and Arthritis

Research has found that the bacterium commonly associated with gum disease leads to worse cases of rheumatoid arthritis, resulting on earlier onset of the condition and faster progression as well.

Respiratory Problems and Gum Disease

Issues with respiratory health have shown some connection to gum disease. One reason is smoking. People who smoke are more likely to suffer from respiratory problems and also up their risks of suffering from gum disease. There have also been suggestions that the bacteria associated with gum disease can affect the respiratory system.

Possible Connections Between Dementia and Gum Disease

Research has noted a potential link between dementia and gum disease. It's is thought that gum disease and other dental health problems are signs of dementia, as people suffering from dementia tend to shirk responsibilities when it comes to basic hygiene.

Treatments for Gum Disease

Treating gum disease itself will often involve the use of antiseptic rinses and antibiotics. This will help get the bacteria under control and allow restorative treatments to be performed as needed to enhance overall dental health and rebuild the gumline.

Prevention of Gum Disease

In order to prevent gum disease, there are several things that you can do:

  • Quit smoking (or just don't start in the first place)
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night (ideally after every meal)
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups

Schedule a Consultation for Advanced Dental Care

If you would like to learn more about gum disease and your many options for enhancing your overall periodontal health, it's important that you contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. By meeting with Dr. Byron Wall, you will be able to discuss these matters in greater detail and get the help you need when it is needed most.

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