Periodontal Disease affects more than your teeth or even beyond your mouth. Gum disease, as it is also known, has an impact from your teeth through the bloom stream and even into the heart and respiratory systems.
First, periodontal disease is the LEADING cause of adult tooth loss. The destructive power of this gum tissue infection is significant. Consider that TOTAL tooth loss is occurring in over 22 percent of the US population by the age of 65. While in Michigan we are farther down the percentage ladder – at just over 17% - the difference is not much consolation to those who have lost teeth: some or all. (See Symptoms below.)
As a doctor of dentistry, Traverse City dentist Dr. Brian Klym is highly trained in oral health enhancement. However, improving overall health is also part of his mission. And, gum disease is a critical area where oral and overall health converge.
While losing teeth is a devastating experience, many people are likely to have other serious health complications before gum disease seriously affects their smile. According to recent medical studies, illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and pneumonia can be caused by the infectious buildup in the periodontal pockets around your teeth, and plaque on them.
Because periodontal disease infects your blood, it has the potential to put serious stress on your immune system. Just like almost any infection can become serious – oral infections left untreated can be destructive as well.
Current evidence suggests the poor dental hygiene that results in extensive plaque buildup makes possible the development of respiratory bacteria in your mouth. The research seems to show that the unhealthy organisms find there way from the periodontal pockets to the lower airway and cause lung infection.
People with destructive periodontal disease are most affected by pneumonia, which causes 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. While not as obvious missing teeth, this infection – at whatever stage it has progressed – should not be ignored.
On the positive side, the study also shows a simple preventive dental care treatment was able to reduce pneumonia rates by 65% in patients in the clinical trial noted on the CDC website. In addition to respiratory diseases, periodontal infections are also linked to heart problems, diabetes, Osteoporosis, strokes, and low birth weights.
Start breathing easier and smiling wider. Be proactive about your overall health. Prevent health complications caused by gum disease.
What Should You Do?
- Call Northwood Dental To Schedule An Appointment – (231) 947-7202
- Start Brushing and flossing regularly
Know the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Partial Symptom List:
- Red gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- Sore gums
- Swollen gums
- Changes in your bite
- Bad breath
- Sensitive teeth
- Ill fitting Dentures
- Gums pulling away from your teeth
Review Related Links
- Gum Disease and General Dental Health
- State-By-State Tooth Loss Statistics
- Whoopi Goldberg talks about Gum Disease on The View
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