How healthy is your mouth? According to the CDC, 47.2 percent of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease. This amounts to roughly 64.7 million individuals with either gingivitis or the advanced form of gum disease, known as periodontal disease. The bad news is that having excess bacteria in your mouth may contribute to certain chronic diseases and conditions. We want to inform you of these health problems and help you maintain or increase the health of your teeth and gums.

Diabetes

If you have diabetes, the condition can affect the blood flow to the gums and the nerves in your mouth, as well as your immune system. This means you have more bacteria in your mouth when compared to someone who does not have diabetes. The presence of gum disease can also make it harder to control your blood sugar. If you do not have diabetes, gum disease can increase your risk of developing the condition.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is characterized by inflammation and hardening of the arteries, which can increase your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. Gum disease is suspected to be partially responsible for body-wide inflammation, including inflammation in the arteries. The bacteria in the mouth can also enter the bloodstream via the gums, which can cause infections in other parts of the body as well as inflammation due to the immune system’s response to the presence of bacteria in other parts of the body.

Dementia

If you want to lower your risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s, taking care of your gums and getting any signs of gum disease treated may be the answer. In a scientific research report posted by NCBI, researchers studied the relationship between periodontal disease and amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques. Amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques are a marker for determining if an individual has Alzheimer’s.

The study found that individuals with Alzheimer’s had high levels of the bacteria (Porphyromonas Gingivalis), which is responsible for the development of gum disease, in their brains. They also had higher than normal levels of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques, which was later determined to be caused by the presence of porphyromonas gingivalis in the brain tissue. The bottom line is that all of this can contribute to an increased risk of developing dementia.

Erectile Dysfunction

Gum disease and erectile dysfunction (ED) may seem like they have nothing in common. After all, the gums and the sexual organs are in two different parts of the body, and the symptoms and causes are completely different. However, erectile dysfunction is known to have both physical and psychological causes. Some of the physical causes align with other diseases that can be exasperated by excess bacteria in the mouth and gum disease, including heart disease and diabetes. Heart disease and diabetes can negatively impact blood flow. Diabetes can lead to nerve problems, which can decrease the sensitivity and sensations felt by the sexual organs. In 2016, researches studied the link between periodontal disease and erectile dysfunction and found that individuals with periodontal disease had higher instances of ED.

Improving Your Gum Health with Treatments from Our Periodontist

When you have gum disease, it is important to have it treated promptly by a periodontist. If left untreated, gingivitis can quickly turn into periodontal disease with severely receded gums, deep pockets between the teeth and gums, gum inflammation and even bone and tooth loss. Thankfully, we offer treatments, like deep cleanings and gum and tissue grafting, to help restore the health of the gums. Once you receive your initial treatments, we recommend periodontal maintenance. This involves visiting our periodontist every three months for a deep cleaning and to remove any bacteria that may have recolonized in the pockets.

To schedule an appointment with our orthodontist at Vero Implants and Periodontics, give us a call at 772-569-9700.