When you’re told that you have gum disease in Belmont, your immediate concern is likely to be the safety of your smile. This is definitely a valid worry; after all, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults! However, recent research indicates that the inflammation associated with gum disease could also be linked to a number of other health problems throughout your body. Read on to learn more about some of these conditions – and why treating your gum disease could potentially be a life-saving decision.
Diabetes and Gum Disease
The connection between gum disease and diabetes goes two ways. Diabetic patients tend to be more susceptible to gum disease. In many cases, gum disease is even considered a direct complication of diabetes. That said, there is evidence that shows gum disease can make it more difficult for a diabetic person to control their blood sugar. In other words, gum disease can make diabetes worse and vice versa, leading to a vicious cycle that put your overall health in serious jeopardy.
Heart Disease and Gum Disease
There are multiple studies showing that people with gum disease have an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke. While there is no definitive evidence that gum disease directly causes these problems, there are several theories for the link. For example, the bacteria involved in a gum infection could enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation in different parts of the body. In this way, gum disease could make an already existing heart condition worse.
Other Disease Linked to Gum Disease
There are a few other systemic conditions that have a relationship with gum disease, such as:
- Respiratory Disease: If you breathe in the bacteria associated with gum disease, you could end up suffering from pneumonia or another respiratory issue.
- Cancer: Men with gum disease are significantly more likely to suffer from cancer of the kidney, pancreas, or blood.
- Pregnancy Complications: Pregnant women with gum disease are significantly more likely to have pre-term low birth weight babies and experience other pregnancy complications.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Health?
Treating your gum disease won’t necessarily prevent the above conditions from happening at all, but it will make it much easier to maintain your health in general. As soon as you notice signs of gum disease, such as swelling or bleeding, get in touch with your periodontist in Belmont. They can develop a treatment plan to protect your smile – and possibly the rest of you!
About the Author
Dr. Alexander Schrott has undergone training in the United States, Germany, and Switzerland in order to provide high-quality periodontal care. As a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, he is highly skilled in both diagnosing and treating gum disease. If you’re concerned about a possible gum infection, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Schrott at his Belmont practice, Schrott Perio Implants, by visiting his website or calling (617) 484-9240.