The Link between Gum Disease and Your Overall Health

Dental effects of missing teeth

The link between oral health and overall health is a strong one. Periodontal disease is connected to many other health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and kidney complications. The better your oral health, the more your body will thank you for it.

Read on as Drs. Jennifer and Cory Chambers from Cobblestone Park Family Dental explain why oral health is a vital aspect of your overall well-being.

Inflammation and Bacteria

Periodontal disease affects the structures around the teeth — namely the gums, ligaments and bones. As plaque builds up on the surface of the teeth, it may spread beneath the gum line. Once the plaque is below the gum line, it becomes impossible to dislodge with normal brushing techniques.

As the bacteria multiply, the gums become inflamed. Gum tissue swells away from the surface of the teeth and forms pockets that become filled with plaque and bacteria. This may lead to serious infections that can spread throughout the body.

Heart Disease

There is strong evidence to suggest that bacteria from infected gum tissue can enter the bloodstream and lead to further health complications. Infected tissue may contribute to atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in your arteries), leading to heart disease.

The risk of endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart, is believed to be exacerbated by gum disease. Bacteria from oral infections travel down the bloodstream where they become lodged in the tissue lining of the heart. Bacteria in the bloodstream can elevate C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the body. Higher levels of CRP are directly linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Stroke Risk

Strong correlations exist between periodontal disease and stroke risk. The increase in systemic inflammation as a result of poor dental health may narrow the blood vessels in the body, increasing the risk of stroke. Likewise, bacteria from plaque can increase platelet aggregation (one of the leading causes of embolism and stroke).

Gum Disease and Overall Health

Gum disease is linked to a number of serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke risk. By maintaining proper oral health, you reduce your risk of developing further health conditions. If you’re looking for a family-owned and -operated dental practice in Oklahoma City, contact Cobblestone Park Family Dental today!

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