Can Periodontal Disease Affect Other Areas of My Health?
The gums play a major role in helping you enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile. But did you know that your periodontal health can also impact other areas of your body? Periodontal disease (commonly referred to as gum disease) is a progressive infection involving the gum and bone tissues that surround your teeth and help hold them in place. When gum disease is left untreated or is not well managed, its harmful effects may increase your risk of other systemic health concerns. At Premier Periodontics, our specialists are experts at helping patients throughout Bellevue, Kent, Everett, Kirkland, Olympia, Redmond, and Mercer Island, WA treat and control gum disease. We offer this information to help you understand how periodontal disease may be affecting other areas of your health.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an oral infection caused by bacteria living within the sticky plaque that collects on the teeth. These bacteria emit harmful toxins that break down periodontal structures, causing your gums to pull away from the teeth and the underlying bone to slowly deteriorate. If you have gum disease, our Bellevue, WA periodontists recommend seeking periodontal treatment as soon as possible to stop the progression of the condition and help preserve your oral and general health.
Dental health and general health: What’s the connection?
While the precise correlation between dental health and general health remains unclear, researchers are noticing potential links between periodontal disease and a number of systemic medical conditions. Some of these include:
- Heart disease
- Low birthweight
- Pre-term labor
- Certain types of cancers
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Other ways gum disease affects overall health
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Losing teeth can affect your ability to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods, which can impact your nutrition and general health as well. People with conditions that affect healing, such as diabetes, may have a more difficult time managing their periodontal condition. In fact, there's a strong correlation between gum disease and diabetes: when blood glucose levels are not well controlled, it becomes more difficult to manage periodontal health (and vice versa). All in all, it’s important to be proactive in doing your best to manage systemic health conditions as well as periodontal disease. Visiting a periodontal specialist, such as those at Premier Periodontics in Bellevue, WA, can help preserve your health and wellness in the best possible way.
How can I reduce my risk of periodontal disease?
Millions of people have gum disease, making it one of the most prevalent health concerns affecting Americans today. To help reduce your risk of gum disease, our team at Premier Periodontics recommends scheduling routine dental exams to screen for the condition on a periodic basis. It’s also wise to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly each day and seek expert periodontal treatment as soon as possible if you’re diagnosed with gum disease.
Avoid the dangers of untreated gum disease
Gum disease may be common, but you can help protect your smile and general health from its effects with professional care. If you have bleeding gums, bad breath, gum recession, or other symptoms of gum disease, we encourage you to schedule a visit with a specialist at one of our Premier Periodontics locations in Bellevue, Kent, Everett, Kirkland, Olympia, Redmond, or Mercer Island, WA. Identifying and treating periodontal infections early on is key in minimizing the long-term risks gum disease may pose to your overall health and wellness.