A Center For Family Dentistry

Gum Disease and Its Negative Effects on Your Overall Health and Wellness

May 17, 2014 — by Keith Kelley, DDS
Tags: Gum Disease Restorative Dentistry

Gum Disease and Its Negative Effects on Your Overall Health and WellnessWhen it comes to achieving good overall dental health, it's important to take into account the overall condition of your teeth as well as your gums. Our restorative and cosmetic dentistry team can address various aesthetic and health issues.

Given how interconnected various parts of the body are, it should come as no surprise that bad dental health can have an impact on your overall wellness. Let's examine how gum disease can affect or be linked to problems with your general health.

About Gum Disease

Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gums. The bacteria that causes this infection to occur is the same bacteria that cases bad breath and tooth decay.

The Stages of Gum Disease

There are three stages of gum disease that people can suffer from. In order of seriousness, these are:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Dental Health Issues Associated with Gum Disease

The symptoms and dental problems associated with gum disease become more serious as the condition progresses. Early on, the symptoms involve bleeding gums, gum discoloration, gum soreness, and bad breath. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to gum recession, loose teeth, tooth decay beneath the gumline, severe pain, and even tooth loss.

General Health Problems Linked to Gum Disease

Medical studies over the years have found that dental plaque and gum disease have been linked to a number of serious health conditions.

  • Diabetes - People who suffer from diabetes are more susceptible to infections, which means they tend to be more prone to suffer from gum disease.
  • Heart disease - Given that gum disease is linked to diabetes, there tends to be a greater likelihood of people suffering from heart disease as well as gum disease.
  • Dementia - Fascinatingly, studies have suggested some link between gum disease and dementia, particularly an increased risk for developing dementia later in life.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis - Inflammation is common in both gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Research has found increased chances of gum disease and tooth loss in people who suffer from serious rheumatoid arthritis.

It should also be noted that there is conflicting research with regard to premature birth and gum disease. Studies are continuing to be made, but regardless, it's ideal for pregnant women to be in good health (dental and otherwise) in order to ensure the health of their unborn child.

Professional Treatment for Gum Disease

Given the serious dental health problems linked to gum disease as well as the various issues with general wellness, it's important that you undergo treatment for periodontal health issues as soon as possible. There are numerous general dentistry treatments to consider that treat gum disease as well as other major dental health issues.

The first step of gum disease treatment will be to get the infection of the gums under control. Once this is done, grafting techniques can be used to rebuild lost gum tissue and restore periodontal health.

Tips for Preventing Gum Disease

In order to prevent gum disease from occurring, good dental hygiene and dental health habits are key. The three primary components are:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
  • Flossing your teeth at least every night
  • Visiting your dentist for regular dental checkups twice a year

Learn More About Your Dental Care Treatment Options

For more information about gum disease and how it can effectively treated and prevented, be sure to contact our Troy, MI cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. We all look forward to meeting with you in person and helping you achieve optimal dental health and wellness through advanced dental care.

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