You may be familiar with the feeling of being so exhausted after a long day, that you fall into bed without bothering to complete any of your usual nightly rituals such as washing your face or brushing your teeth.
While neglecting your oral health once in a while is fairly normal for most people, making a habit of inadequate oral care can lead to devastating effects not only in your mouth, but also throughout your entire body.
Bacteria left in the mouth turns into plaque, which then turns into tartar. Too much tartar buildup can lead to the beginning stages of gum disease known as gingivitis; gingivitis will eventually turn into full-blown gum disease, known as periodontis.
Periodontis not only destroys the teeth and gums of Kansas City patients, but the bacteria and plaque can also travel to other vital organs throughout the body.
Health Conditions Associated with Gum Disease
Chronic, untreated gum disease can lead to a host of additional health problems:
- Gum disease and heart disease: Studies have found that the bacteria associated with gum disease can also enter the bloodstream and be carried throughout the body. Bacteria and plaque can build up in vital arteries, forming clots and hindering healthy blood flow. Arterial blockages can lead to events like coronary artery disease (CAD), strokes, and heart attacks. Research concludes that patients with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from CAD as well.
- Gum disease and respiratory diseases: Gum disease sufferers risk inhaling bacteria-filled saliva contained in the mouth and throat. Once bacteria enters the lungs, it can breed and multiply, causing bacterial respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and even emphysema.
- Gum disease and diabetes: Research indicates that gum disease is more prevalent in those suffering from diabetes since infection tends to affect diabetics more. Since gum disease is an infection, it causes changes in blood sugar levels, which may make regulating sugar and insulin increasingly difficult for diabetics.
Treating and Preventing Gum Disease
Tooth damage is a common occurrence for patients with gum disease. In these cases, cosmetic dentistry may be instrumental in correcting damaged teeth using composite bonding or porcelain veneers, matching any cosmetic work perfectly with the remaining natural teeth.
Advanced cases of gum disease may result in tooth loss, and more involved surgical procedures may be necessary in order to treat gum disease. Your dentist may recommend restorative dentistry procedures to replace missing teeth.
While gum disease may gravely affect your overall well being as well as your oral health, the good news is that the condition can be avoided simply by consistently abiding by a few oral hygiene tips:
- Regularly scheduling dentist visits
- Undergoing routine professional cleanings
- Brushing at least twice daily
- Flossing at least once daily
Learn More about Gum Disease and its Effect On Overall Health
To learn more about how gum disease impacts the rest of your health, and how to prevent it and treat it, schedule an appointment with Dr. John Goodman today.