Gum disease or what we call it as dentists, periodontal disease, is a widespread disease among the population. Most people, especially those who lack dental awareness, have some signs of this underestimated disease such as bleeding, swollen or sore gums or even bone loss.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of adults in the United States have some degree of gum disease.
Unfortunately, most of those people are unaware of the dangerous consequences and bad effects of gum disease on their health.
Now let me show you some correlation between your inflamed gums and other health issues:
Your gums and Brain
A study done monitoring mental performance followed 597 men for up to 32 years. Conclusion was:
“Risk of cognitive decline in older men increases as more teeth are lost. Periodontal disease and caries, major reasons for tooth loss, are also related to cognitive decline.”
other researches done to link Periodontal disease with Alzehimer prevalence by providing some evidence that one type of bacteria commonly found in cases of periodontitis — Porphyromonas gingivalis, can be found in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s.
In addition, periodontal disease also found in many studies to be linked with more prevalence of Dementia.
Your gums and heart
It has been said many times over the last decades that periodontal dis and Heart problems have something in common.
Many theories have been proposed, that the bacteria causing gingivitis and periodontitis could reach blood vessels elsewhere in the body where they cause blood vessel inflammation and damage, other supposed that it’s about our immune response – inflammation – that increase the possibility of vascular damage throughout the body, including the heart and brain.
However, regardless of which theory has the right explanation of this clear link, the link whether it’s direct or indirect, still there as a risk factor of cardiovascular disease.
Your gums and Cancer
A study published in 2008 investigated tooth loss and cancer in 48,375 men. The authors concluded that there was, indeed, a link between gum disease and cancer. They write:
“Periodontal disease was associated with a small, but significant, increase in overall cancer risk.”
While a study done in Harvard School of Dental Medicine, researchers found that women with periodontal disease had a 14% higher overall cancer risk than women without gum disease — and a higher risk specifically of breast, lung, and esophageal cancers, and melanoma
There are a lot of other health issues found to be correlated in some way with gum disease and it’s causing bacteria, to name a few, Premature birth, Pneumonia, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis and sexual dysfunction.
There is no doubt that Gum disease leads in some way or other to other health issues, so every time you feel lazy or busy to go for you routine dental hygiene including daily brushing and flossing and routine hygienist/ dental professional cleaning, remember, you are facing a real danger which is way beyond your mouth/teeth boundaries..
Dr. Sura Al Azzawi
GP Dentist, American Dental Clinic
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