Why is good periodontal health so important?
Periodontal (gum) disease puts your oral health at risk and can cause tooth loss. Additionally, it can create social problems due to bad breath. Perhaps the most frightening of all is the effect that periodontal disease can have on your systemic health.
Periodontal disease is a chronic infection. As with any infection, it causes inflammation. It is easy for the bacteria from gum disease to travel freely through your blood stream and can affect the health of your other systems such as circulatory, nervous, and respiratory systems. Researchers have discovered a link between gum disease and low birth-weight babies.
Heart disease – When periodontal disease is present, your chances of having a heart attack increase.
Stroke – Strokes are more common in people who also suffer from chronic gum disease.
Complications with respiratory illnesses – Both chronic bronchitis and COPD are more common in people who have untreated gum disease.
Pregnancy complications – Periodontal disease is more common during pregnancy because of hormonal changes. It is especially important to seek treatment because periodontal disease has been linked to low birth-weight.
Many researchers believe that the inflammatory nature of any infection is the cause of health complications linked to periodontal disease. The connection requires more research, but dentists and doctors know that gum disease puts your overall health at risk and that effective treatment supports good overall health and wellness.