Gum disease is caused by bacteria that grows for several reasons. It can be due to not brushing your teeth regularly or not brushing them properly when you do brush them. Good oral hygiene is important. Flossing and brushing are your first line of defense against it.
You can also develop gum disease if you have gums that grow over your teeth, forming a flap that you may not notice, but can be detected by a dental professional during a routine oral exam. These flaps allow bacteria to grow that you can’t remove by brushing or flossing. What many people don’t realize is that gum disease can affect far more than just your mouth.
What Else Can Gum Disease Affect?
Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that is a result of harmful bacteria. It can cause bad breath, it can make your teeth loosen and possibly fall out, it can cause your gums to bleed and can lead to red or swollen gums. The last two are early warning signs and if you have either of these signs you should be sure to see us for your regular exam or make an appointment if you have already had your annual checkup.
But it doesn’t just affect your mouth. Since it is caused by bacteria, this bacterium can enter the bloodstream and affect other parts of your body. Gum disease is basically an infection and it will trigger an inflammatory response as other infections do. One thing it can do is cause your blood vessels to become irritated.
If this happens, it can eventually cause your arteries to narrow which makes it a cardiac risk factor.
If the infection travels into the neck and chest it can also travel to the lungs. This can put you at a higher risk for lung infections such as pneumonia. If left untreated, gum disease can result in premature births or exacerbate cardiovascular disease. Please contact us if you show symptoms, or if you would like more information.