While gum disease often results in tooth decay and lost teeth, recent medical studies have revealed a link between gum disease and other health conditions. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the potential damage that gum disease can cause to their heart and cardiovascular system. Before learning how gum disease can lead to serious heart-related medical issues, it’s important to understand what it is and how it is caused.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease (also called Periodontal Disease) is a condition that impacts the health of your gums and teeth through a bacterial infection. The bacteria forms a film of plaque on your teeth. If left unchecked, this bacteria can attack the gums where they bond with your teeth. Ultimately, the bacteria can form growing pockets beneath your teeth. If the infection is not properly treated, these pockets can widen to the point that your teeth become loose and even begin to fall out.
Recent studies have shown that those who suffer from gum disease are far more likely to have heart disease. Though it’s not entirely clear how the two conditions are related, significant evidence suggests that the presence of gingivitis can be a reliable precursor to heart problems such as potential strokes and heart attacks. Further, if heart problems already exist, studies have shown that gum disease can aggravate these symptoms.
Potential Causes Of Gum Disease
There are several factors that can play a role in the presence of gum disease and can ultimately lead to heart disease. First, those who use tobacco regularly (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, etc.) are more likely to be susceptible to periodontal disease. Studies have shown that people who smoke half a pack a day are three times more likely to have gum disease than non-smokers. Those who smoke regularly are also vulnerable to lung and heart disease.
Second, those who have poor diets may have increased vulnerability to gum disease and heart-related illnesses. A poor diet can often deprive your body’s immune system of necessary nutrients that it needs in order to fight off infections. Over time, this can impair your body’s ability to fight off gum disease. Also, keep in mind that a poor diet can often lead to obesity and other factors that play a role in developing heart disease.
Third, stress can lead to gum disease as your body is less capable of battling infections. When you are overly-stessed, your body is less efficient at preventing such infections as gum disease from growing. Many studies have also shown a link between high levels of continued stress and heart-related diseases.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
Preventing gum disease may be as simple as brushing and flossing daily. By devoting care and attention to oral hygiene, you can dramatically reduce the chances of bacteria building up and causing a problem. You can also prevent the onset of gum disease by not smoking, maintaining a healthy diet and trying to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Doing these things will also likely reduce the chances of developing heart disease.
Again, the relationship between gum disease and heart disease is still unclear. But, as additional studies and tests are performed, the evidence continues to show that a link between the two conditions does exist. Perhaps one of the best things you can do to prevent gum disease and maintain your heart health is to simply use your toothbrush.
I have been a Dental Hygienist for 20 years now and see Gum disease on a daily basis. It is very common in adults. If your dentist is not checking for gum disease when you go for your regular visits, please ask him to. Gum disease is silent, just like high blood pressure and high cholestrol. So, you may have it and not know it. If detected early it can be treated. Please see your dentist or hygienist atleast twice a year for regular check ups.
I am also an infopreneur and I have an online business. If you have a passion for anything, you too, can become an infopreneur. Please visit my website listed below. And, if you have any questions about gum disease, just leave me an e-mail at the address below.
By Kim Pinzini
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