Learning Center

Periodontal Disease and the Body

Oral health is so much more important than just a beautiful smile. We know you love to see your pearly whites looking good so you have the kind of confidence you want, but your oral health doesn’t just stop at pretty teeth. It’s about the overall health of your teeth, your gums, and even the rest of your body. You might have heard us mention once or twice how important oral health is to your overall health, but have you really thought about this? Our services provide you with the skills to learn preventive care as well as the technology to reverse damage already done in your mouth.

However, our dental care services are designed to provide each of our patients with a comprehensive overview of the entire world of oral health. We want you to understand how to properly care for your teeth, how to maintain a beautiful smile, and we want you to learn to understand what failing to practice these skills can do to your overall oral health. You can learn how to properly care for your teeth, and we can tell you to visit us every six months for cleanings, x-rays, and exams to keep your health on target, and we can help you understand how failing to do this can affect your overall health.

Gum disease and periodontal disease are very easily avoided in most mouths. Unfortunately, people are fearful of the dentist. They are fearful of the pain they think they might experience, of the dental chair and equipment, and even the worry that their services will cost too much for the budget or else it won’t be covered by insurance. This fear results in gum disease and periodontal disease in people it shouldn’t affect otherwise.

What Gum Disease Looks Like in Your Mouth

Gum disease might not sound like something you want to have, and that’s because it’s not something you want. It’s more than just unhealthy gums and a few trips to the dentist to fix it. It’s a disease, and it affects your entire body. Gum disease creates ample bacteria in the mouth, and it’s not the good kind of bacteria your mouth requires to maintain its good health. These dangerous bacteria cause many issues you should worry about.

  • Bacteria gets into the gums
  • Bacteria erodes the gum line
  • Bacteria affects the bones
  • Bacteria affects the connective tissue
  • Bacteria affects the bloodstream

As gum disease is left untreated, it spreads rapidly in every facet of your mouth and more. The problem here is that it’s not just a disease that affects your smile. If left untreated long enough, it can kill you. It can cause more serious health issues to occur throughout your body and affect your entire life.

Gum and Periodontal Disease are Linked to Scary Health Risks

Before we discuss with you how many things gum and periodontal disease can affect in your body, we first want to tell you that you’re not 100 percent guaranteed to suffer any of these health problems as you get older or suffer from this oral health condition. Medical research doesn’t indicate you will suffer these diseases and health issues; it merely states your risk of developing these health issues is significantly increased when you suffer from gum or periodontal disease.

High Risk Pregnancy: Your doctor probably mentioned the importance of seeing your dentist in the months before you try to have a baby. The reason or this is your oral health affects the health of your baby. This is vital information for any hopeful or expectant mother, yet it’s not fully discussed as often or as openly as it should be.

Your oral health can cause your baby to be born with low birth weight as well as premature birth. You know birthing a child early means your baby hasn’t the chance to fully develop. This could mean time spent in the NICU, health issues your baby is forced to overcome, and it might even mean your baby is going to face developmental issues as he or she grows up. All this because you suffer from periodontal disease that should be handled prior to becoming pregnant.

Pancreatic Cancer: Periodontal disease causes something in the body known as increased antibody levels. This has been linked to a greater risk of a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, which is one of the most dangerous cancers. Suffering from periodontal disease is dangerous, and it’s going to cause you to increase your risk of this deadly cancer.

Heart Disease: It kills tens of thousands of people every year in the United States alone, and it’s a leading cause of death among many men and women of a certain age. Periodontal disease forms when bad bacteria are present and your body is unable to control it. As that bacteria spreads through the body, it is very likely to cause inflammation of tissue throughout the body.

This includes the tissue that lines the heart. It’s called endocarditis, and it’s dangerous. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it causes your blood supply to stop fully oxygenating. This means it’s not capable of reaching important organs in need of blood to work. Such organs include your brain, your heart, and even your lungs. When this happens, it causes heart disease.

But you shouldn’t assume heart disease is the worst-case scenario if you live with periodontal disease. You’re also at an increased risk of a stroke, a heart attack, and even blood clots that can kill you. Your health is important, and knowing this can all happen because your mouth is less than healthy is eye-opening.

The Dangers of Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

We can’t just add diabetes to the above list, because the risks are far more serious with diabetes and periodontal disease than a short paragraph warrants. This issue is a double-edged sword. Both periodontal disease and diabetes make one another worse. What does this mean?

This means if you live with periodontal disease, it can cause diabetes. If you live with diabetes and you develop periodontal disease, it can make your gum disease worse much faster, and it can then exacerbate the overall effect your oral health has on your mouth. This is a dangerous combination regardless which health issue you suffered from first.

Here’s how it works: When you have diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar becomes one of the most important things you do for your health. Gum disease bacteria creates an increase in blood sugar, which is terrible for diabetic patients. If you don’t already suffer from diabetes, the increased blood sugar caused by these bacteria makes you much more likely to begin suffering from it.

If you were diagnosed with diabetes long before periodontal disease, you’ll find that your periodontal disease makes it more difficult to control your diabetes. Your medication might not work effectively, your health might decline, and you might still suffer from one or more of the above-mentioned health issues in conjunction with your periodontal disease and your diabetes. It’s a deadly combination.

As you can see, periodontal disease is dangerous and those in the medical profession are still learning just how bad it is and what all it can affect. This list is not comprehensive, but it’s one that does outline some of the most serious, most dangerous, and most life-changing conditions you might face in the future if you don’t learn to care for your oral health today.

Give us a call at Vestal Dental to schedule an appointment. Let us help you learn to properly care for your teeth, to learn how to prevent disease from occurring, and to get your oral health on track. Our team of dental professionals wants to help you stay healthy, have a more beautiful smile, and reverse any damage you might already suffer from so that you have a brighter, happier, healthier future.