You probably already realize that brushing and flossing your teeth is essential for good dental hygiene, but did you know that periodontal disease – an advanced form of gum disease – could be connected with other serious health issues? Recent studies have found links between periodontal disease and diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and strokes. If you think you may have periodontal disease, it’s essential to get treatment immediately to help prevent further complications.
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Diabetes and periodontal disease (gums) share a strong relationship.
Gingivitis occurs when your gingival tissue (gum) detaches from your tooth enamel. The spaces between your gum and tooth become filled with bacteria which causes inflammation and irritation. If left untreated, these bacterial infections may lead to periodontal disease.
Sugar-linked hemoglobin in your bloodstream may be higher if you suffer from severe periodontal infections. According to the American Dental Association, the connection between dental health and type 2 diabetes goes in both directions. Periodontal diseases may affect your body’s ability to manage your sugar levels. People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop an oral infection, which could lead to tooth loss.
People with diabetes need to take care of their oral health by regularly visiting the dentist and having regular cleanings. However, nonemergent dental procedures should be put off if your glucose levels aren’t under control.
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
There is evidence linking periodontal diseases and heart diseases, but more research must be done before we can say if there’s a link between them.
Inflammatory items such as C-reactive protein (CRP) may cause the link between gum disease and heart disease. CRP is present at higher levels in the bloodstream of people who suffer from periodontal disease, which causes an increase in systemic inflammatory markers.
Periodontal diseases may contribute to heart attacks. One theory is that bacterial infections from gum disease can cause an inflammatory response throughout the entire body. A study published in 2010 showed a strong correlation between periodontal disease and atherosclerosis.
Heart diseases and gum diseases share many of the same risks, including smoking and obesity.
According to recent research, gum disease could cause strokes. Plaque buildup in the mouth increases the risk of blood clots forming in the brain.
Preventing gum disease
To avoid gum diseases, practice good oral health habits, including brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing once a day, and using mouthwashes.
It’s also essential to visit your doctor regularly and take good care of your teeth and gingivitis. If you have diabetes, you must maintain regular checkups and care for your teeth.
If you already have gingivitis, several treatment options are available depending on the degree of the problem. These include:
Deep cleaning: Removing hardened deposits from beneath the gums
Antibiotics: to help kill bacteria and reduce swelling
If there is severe damage to the gums, then surgery might be required to repair the damaged tissues.
Whether you’re at an early stage of gum infection or suffering from advanced gum diseases, it’s important to seek treatments to help keep your teeth and gingivitis under control. Gum infections have been linked to many serious medical issues, so maintaining good oral hygiene is vital for your overall well-being.
Early Detection Is Key
There is still no proof that good dental hygiene prevents diabetes or heart disease. However, keeping your teeth clean and healthy should be a top priority for your overall well-being.
The ADA suggests brushing your teeth two times per week using fluoride toothpaste, flossing every night, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year for an exam and professional cleanings.