When your dentist tells you that you have gum disease, the need to treat it can be more serious than you might realize. As one of the most common chronic oral health conditions, many people will have to deal with gum disease at some point in their lives. In addition to some of the more well-known threats that gum disease can pose to your oral health, including tooth loss, there are also more profound ways in which gum disease can impact your overall systemic health. In cases where gum disease has become severe, these can include significant risks to your heart health.
What drives gum disease’s progression?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic, progressive condition. Once it develops, it will remain a threat until you address it, and it can cause increasingly more harm to your gums and oral tissues the longer you wait. One of the biggest factors in the destruction that gum disease can cause is the inflammation that affects your periodontal and oral tissues. In gum disease’s earliest stage, known as gingivitis, harmful oral bacteria gather excessively underneath your gums. Some of them release molecules that fool your immune system, causing increasingly worse inflammation in the soft tissues. Consequently, inflammation is also a significant risk factor your systemic and heart health.
The connection with your systemic health
When it comes to your periodontal health, inflammation in your gums can lead to several consequences. The unchecked swelling can damage the tissues and cause them to separate from your teeth, exacerbating the damage and eroding significant portions of your gums. It can also impact the health and integrity of your jawbone structure, which is one reason why gum disease is strongly linked to tooth loss. This same level of harm can be realized in other parts of your body, as well, when inflammation is left unchecked. For instance, chronic inflammation is also a significant risk to your cardiovascular tissues, and severe gum disease can make it harder for your immune system to control inflammation in these tissues, as well.
Lower your risks of gum and heart disease
Before gum disease develops and becomes a threat, the best way to control your risks of it is to stick to a routine of excellent daily hygiene and regular preventive dental care. Gum disease may have serious consequences in its severe stages, but it begins as a relatively minor infection that you can often prevent with good hygiene and dental care. If it does develop, you’ll also have a good chance at detecting it early. With ongoing periodontal care at your dentist’s office, you’ll have a better chance at controlling it before inflammation threatens your cardiovascular and systemic health.
Schedule a visit by calling us today
Gum disease can be a threat to much more than just your smile, but with proper care and maintenance, we can help you successfully control it, and the risks it might pose. To learn more, schedule a visit by calling Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY, today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-6930.