The Serious Health Risks Related to Gum Disease
Increasing evidence strongly suggests that several inflammatory conditions, including Alzheimer’s Disease, cardiovascular conditions, and early death, are associated with gum disease. Every dentist in Elk Grove Village, IL will agree that maintaining excellent oral hygiene is an important step to maintaining – and even improving – your overall health.
Our mouths are connected to other organs in our body – consequently, the importance of diligently maintaining oral health by brushing and flossing cannot be overestimated. Without proper dental hygiene practices, gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, is likely to occur.
Untreated gum disease can lead to complicated dental surgeries and serious adverse health issues. Consequently, scheduling regular dental visits is important when it comes to ensuring that minor symptoms of gingivitis, or any oral health problem, do not go unnoticed. Additionally, whether you have practically perfect teeth, or a mouth full of fillings and crowns, steadfastly maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is also essential to keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Never Ignore Gum Disease
The most common cause of adult tooth loss is gum disease – not trauma or decay, and it often begins with very minor symptoms. Therefore, scheduling routine examinations and professional teeth cleanings with your dentist in Elk Grove Village will serve a dual purpose. Not only will you be keeping your teeth clean and healthy, but you will be fighting gum disease.
Gingivitis, the most minor form of gum disease, begins insidiously – but ignored and left untreated, it will eventually lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease wreaks havoc on the tissues that support your teeth, and can eventually lead to bone loss, loose teeth, or the necessity of tooth extractions.
While these symptoms may provide plenty of impetus to avoid gum disease, it is important to note that as gingivitis progresses, and periodontitis develops, the accompanying infection, stemming from oral bacteria, has the ability to spread well beyond the oral cavity. This can lead to inflammation in various areas of the body, by means of the inflammatory response.
The inflammatory response is simply a mechanism that ensures the body has the ability to fight infection and heal traumatic injury by increasing the production of white blood cells and blood flow to the affected area. Unfortunately, this normally helpful immune response can cause worsening health issues when it becomes chronic. This can cause issues throughout the body, and lead to the development or exacerbation of systemic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
Gum Disease is a Significant Risk Factor for Cancer, Diabetes, and Heart Disease
Several studies have linked the increased inflammation caused by gum disease to various conditions including cancer. In 2020, Harvard published two large studies, tracking 150,000 subjects, both men and women, for more than 28 years. The results indicated individuals suffering with gum disease had a significantly increased risk of developing both gastric and esophageal cancers.
Serious complications in diabetic patients are common due to the nature of both diseases. Once gum disease begins to progress, it can be almost impossible to control and it is imperative to work with a highly-skilled dentist near Wooddale to develop a successful treatment plan. Occasionally, a referral to an oral surgeon may be necessary to ensure a good outcome.
Consistently linked to serious inflammation, periodontitis was also shown to have a direct correlation to tooth loss and cardiovascular-disease-related death in post-menopausal women in this study from 2017.
As you can see, preventing both gingivitis and periodontal disease is vital to maintaining your overall health. Fortunately, it is rather easy to maintain your oral health making it the perfect first step for anyone who is aiming for a healthier lifestyle. Without a great deal of effort, you will be making a significant, positive impact on your overall health.
Here are some simple steps you can take to improve your oral health and avoid the resulting chronic inflammation caused by gum disease:
- Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing to clear away tartar and bacterial plaques.
- Scheduling regular dental visits and professional dental cleanings.
- Adopting a healthy diet to strengthen your immune system, lose weight, and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases.
- Seeing your dentist right away if you notice any sign of oral infection or inflammation.
- Stopping smoking to prevent both tooth decay and gum disease.
Lastly, if you are serious about improving your oral health and avoiding the damaging effects of chronic inflammation caused by gingivitis and periodontal disease, it is important to receive quality care from the right dentist. At Brian Homann, DDS, not only do we provide excellent general dentistry in Elk Grove Village, IL, we will work with you to ensure any signs of gum disease are addressed immediately and completely.
If you think you may have noticed the first signs of gum disease, we invite you to reach out to our exceptional dental team today. We not only want you to enjoy a beautiful and healthy smile – we want you to enjoy a long and healthy life. Call today with any questions you may have about any of our treatments, or to book your next appointment.