Gum disease is an infection which occurs to the tissues that support the teeth. It is mainly caused by bacteria from plaque buildup. In patients who are more susceptible to gum disease, the body over reacts to the bacteria around the gums and lead to inflammation. The result of the gum inflammation is that it affects the blood stream and slowly damages the blood vessels in the brain and heart over a long period of time.
Gum disease which is also known as periodontal disease starts when plaque made of mucus, bacteria and food particles invades the small space between your teeth and gums. If the gum disease progresses, it becomes difficult, painful and expensive to treat.
Gum disease is linked to other health problems including:
- Diabetes and its control
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart attacks and heart disease
There is no evidence to prove that treating gum disease will prevent heart related problems, but it was suggested that there may be a link between gum disease and cardiovascular problem. In fact, gum disease may be a serious factor for heart illness than high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. The current theory is that the bacteria that is present in infected gums may become loose and move freely to all parts of the body. The same bacteria that cause the disease may affect your gums and travel to the arteries. Hence, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease depends on the severity of the infection.
If infected gums bleed, there may be a chance of bacteria entering your blood stream through these gums. If bacteria becomes dislodged, it can enter through the sores in your mouth and travel to other body parts through the blood stream. While analyzing the link between gum disease and heart disease, it was found that people who have periodontal disease are more likely to have poor heart health. Also, those having diabetes have higher risk of gum disease and infection problems than the normal persons. If the diabetes is not under control, people are even at higher risk of gum disease.
Gum disease has also been found to surge the risk of dementia in life. Also, it was found that the periodontal problems may be associated with cognitive impairment, such as memory problems. Rheumatoid arthritis is marked by painful joints and inflammation. People with this disease are more likely to have gum disease.
By doing simple preventive things people can save a whole lot of problems. Caring your gum involves:
- Flossing once in a day
- Brushing twice a day
- Seeing your dentist for regular cleaning and check-ups.
Brushing teeth properly and getting the gums examined regularly, can prevent and treat gum disease, improve overall health and reduce the risk of health problems such as heart disease, cancer etc.