There are millions of germs that live in your mouth. If you suffer from gum disease, you have open wounds in your gums that allow the bacteria to enter directly into your blood stream and circulate throughout your body. Some of the bacteria normally found in the mouth enter your bloodstream through infected gums and can relocate to other parts of your body with the potential of creating disease in organs and systems.
Much research is being done to investigate if a definitive link exists between periodontal disease and other systemic illnesses. Many of the results are inconclusive; however, research has shown some links between periodontal disease and heart disease, ischemic stroke, respiratory disease, head and neck cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, and increased risk of pre-term delivery.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for the majority of adults in the United States. Losing your teeth, however, is not the only danger of this disease.
When you have gum disease, there is an active, living infection in your mouth. This infection releases toxins to the entire body through the blood vessels in your mouth causing a variety of health-related issues.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Special dental cleanings, medications, and surgery are among treatments for this disease. The sooner you're treated, the better your outcome, although much of the outcome is up to you. You'll need to commit to taking better care of your teeth at home. You'll also need regular maintenance (upkeep) dental care.
How Periodontal Disease Develops
The disease starts when tartar and bacteria under the gumline lead to infection. As the body fights the infection, the gums become inflamed. Pockets are formed between the tooth and the gum, making plaque hard to remove with everyday brushing and flossing. As the disease advances, bone damage occurs and can lead to tooth loss.
The Periodontal Exam
At your exam, your doctor will check the gums for bleeding, swelling, firmness, recession, and sensitivity. She will also check for mobility of the teeth that can be caused by bone loss or the bite.
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