Gum Disease Can Contribute to Heart Disease and Even Stroke
Periodontal (gum) disease is more serious than loss of teeth. Recent medical research has caused many doctors to conclude that gum disease is linked to strokes and heart disease. This makes gum disease a very serious matter.
The American Academy of Periodontology reports: “Studies found periodontal infection may contribute to the development of heart disease, increase the risk of premature, underweight births, and pose a serious threat to people whose health is already compromised due to diabetes and respiratory diseases.”
Bacteria in the mouth can cause gums to become inflamed – red, swollen, and prone to bleeding easily. This early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated it can progress into periodontitis. At this stage, gums pull away from the teeth and form infected spaces (pockets) that allow bacteria and plaque to move below the gum line. Without treatment, the bacteria and our immune systems fighting the bacteria can cause a breakdown of bone and connective tissue, resulting in the loss of teeth. Bacteria at this stage will potentially reach the blood stream and create serious health issues throughout your body.
According to the American Dental Association, as many as 8 out of 10 Americans have some form of gum disease. These numbers are cause for great concern.