How Gum Disease Affects Your Health

Updated on January 13, 2021
How Gum Disease Affects Your Health

According to the CDC, one in two adults aged 65 years or older has gum disease. Gum disease doesn’t just affect your teeth. The disease is linked to serious issues in the bloodstream, heart, and brain, and can even increase your risk of stroke and dementia. Wondering how gum disease affects your health? If so, keep on reading.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection that affects the tissues supporting your teeth. The main culprit of gum disease is a build-up of plaque. In people susceptible to the disease, the body overreacts to the bacteria and causes inflammation of the gums. If the inflammation doesn’t clear, it can affect the bloodstream and, over time, damage blood vessels in the heart and brain.

There are two stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of the disease. At this stage, your gums might turn red, become inflamed, or bleed easily. Gingivitis is reversible through proper care. Brushing and flossing can treat gingivitis, as can a visit to your local dentist.

Periodontitis is more serious. At this stage, your gums and any structures that support your teeth can suffer serious damage. Your gums might pull away from the teeth, and bones and ligaments can start to break down. This can make your teeth loosen in their sockets. If periodontitis isn’t treated, you could end up losing some of your teeth.

Besides educating yourself more about this disease, it is imperative that you do ample research on your end to find the best dental care practitioner in your area. You may need to go for multiple follow-up treatments and it is always advisable to seek out a professional who can best cater to your needs. If you have yet to find a good dentist for yourself or your family members, you can call the dentist in vienna. Alternatively, you can ask for recommendations from your family and friends. After all, they should know best who to look for when they need help with their oral health. Last but not least, prevention is better than cure so do adopt good dental care habits on a daily basis to avoid this disease as much as possible. It will certainly save you a lot of time and pain.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Some symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums that are pulling away from the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Swollen or red gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums

What Else Can Gum Disease Affect?

Another way gum disease affects your health is by causing problems unrelated to the teeth and gums. When left untreated, gum disease can increase your risk of:

  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease and heart attacks
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stroke

Prevention and Treatment

Knowing the risk factors of gum disease can help you prevent and treat it. Brushing, flossing, and otherwise looking after your teeth will improve your overall health. It should also reduce the risk of complications associated with poor oral hygiene.

It’s easier and less expensive to treat the disease at its earliest stage. If you let gum disease progress without treatment, you might eventually need surgery to correct the problem.