How Gum Disease Negatively Impacts Your Overall Health

Do you have sensitive gums that bleed when you brush and seem to be creeping away from the surfaces of your teeth? You could have the beginnings of gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Gum disease is the No. 1 cause of tooth loss, and it can negatively affect your overall health in other ways. 

At Blakeney Dental in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Mark B. Ranzinger provides biannual dental cleanings to help reduce your risk of gum disease and the associated ill effects on your overall health. Here’s why gum health is so important.

Gum disease 101 

Gum disease is an infection of your gums that can start off as gingivitis or gum sensitivity. If you notice your gums are red, swollen, or bleed a little after you brush, you probably have gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis turns into full-blown gum disease, also called periodontitis. The following are just some examples of how periodontitis can affect the rest of your body.

Gum disease and diabetes

Over half of the U.S. population age 30 or older has periodontal disease, and people with diabetes have more uncontrolled gum disease than non-diabetics. If you’re diabetic, treating gum disease can help lower your blood sugar levels.

Gum disease and heart health

Researchers have discovered that people who don’t have good tooth brushing habits can have up to three times higher risk of heart disease. Gum disease is a continual state of inflammation, and people with inflammatory diseases often see an impact on their heart health. Treating gum disease can get rid of the inflammation, leaving you healthier overall.

Gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis

The bacterium known to trigger painful joint responses in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients is identical to the one found in gum infections, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins. Treating gum disease can reduce bacteria in your system, which may lead to less swollen joints and fewer episodes of severe RA pain.

Routine dental care can prevent and treat gum disease

You can reduce your risk of gum disease by getting dental cleanings and oral health checkups twice a year and maintaining a solid at-home regimen of brushing and flossing. During routine dental visits, Dr. Ranzinger can to catch any signs of gingivitis early and treat early-stage periodontitis so it doesn’t adversely impact your overall health.

If it’s been a while since your last appointment, and your gums are sensitive or bleed unexplainably, it might be time to call our office and schedule your next cleaning. You can reach us at 980-289-0663, or request an appointment online using our convenient scheduling tool.

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