Gum Disease and Your Overall Health

How much time do you really spend thinking about the health of your gums? Probably not much. But, did you know that your gums are an important indicator of your overall health? That is a fact. The phrase “healthy mouth, health you” really rings true when it comes to indicating whether your body is healthy and you should know why.

Why is Gum Health Important?

Your gums act as a shield against bacteria. If your gums are not healthy, bacteria can enter the body and cause inflammation and infections. This bacteria that enters through plaque buildup on your gums cause periodontal disease (gum disease) and can manifest itself with a variety of symptoms. In turn, gum disease has been linked to other serious health issues.

What Health Issues Have Been Linked to Gum Disease?

If you suffer from gum disease, you may also find that you are at risk for cardiovascular disease. The same bacteria that causes your gum disease can also enter the bloodstream and cause plaque in your arteries to build up and harden.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have also been linked to gum disease in scientific studies. The bacteria from your mouth can enter the bloodstream or spread to nerve channels, eventually killing brain cells and leading to memory loss.

Those with diabetes may find gum disease makes their diabetes even harder to control. Diabetics may find that their symptoms worsen when faced with gum disease and good dental hygiene is critical for those with this disease.

Another disease linked to gum disease is rheumatoid arthritis. In studies done, people suffering from gum disease were four times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. The bacteria that inflames your gums can also cause increased inflammation throughout your body.

What Can You Do?

The good news is that gum disease is a preventable and treatable condition. When you follow the recommendations to treat gum disease you will not only help improve the condition of your gums, but you will take steps to improve your overall health. And once again “healthy mouth, healthy you” will be a true statement.