Few people realize just how much periodontal disease (commonly known as gum disease) can affect their health in other ways. Medical studies have shown a definitive link between your oral health and your general health.
Those with adult periodontitis may have increased risk of stroke. Respiratory infections like pneumonia can be caused by inhaling bacteria from the mouth and throat; mouth breathers are especially at risk for this. Dental plaque buildup can also be a dangerous source of inhalable bacteria, putting the lungs at risk. Those with adult periodontitis may have increased risk of heart attack. And heart disease can frequently be linked to the development of cardiovascular disease.
Reduction in bone mass (osteopenia) has been associated with gum disease and related tooth loss. Diabetes can contribute to bacterial overgrowth in the mouth, and chronic periodontal disease can disrupt diabetic control. People with type II diabetes are three times as likely to develop gum disease as non-diabetics. Smokers with diabetes increase their risk of tooth loss by twenty times. Women with advanced gum disease may be more likely to give birth to low-birth-weight, preterm, or still born babies, because oral microbes can cross the placental barrier, exposing the fetus to infection. So regular dental health screenings are important in preventing or early detection of the onset of tooth and gum problems. When you schedule your regular cleaning or dental checkup with Dr. James L. Sugg at Wheatland Dental Care, you’re taking care of more than your teeth and gums; you’re contributing to your overall health and well-being.
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