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Gum Disease and Your Health

When we think about gum disease, our first thought almost always goes to how it affects our mouth, teeth, and gums. But although gum disease has the power to cause serious oral hygiene problems, it isn’t the only area that it can hurt.

Having healthy gums is not only important for keeping our teeth healthy, but also for keeping our entire body healthy. Here are some things you should know about gum disease and how it can affect more than just your mouth.

An Inside Look at Gum Disease

The most common cause of gum disease is not brushing enough or not brushing appropriately. When bacteria builds up in the mouth, it sends the body an alert that there is in infection in the mouth. In response, inflammation and irritation along the gum line can occur and blood may appear in the sink when you’re brushing your teeth. If gum disease is not treated, it will only get worse.

The symptoms of gum disease will depend on how severe he infection is. In the first stages, symptoms may include bad breath or swollen gums. As it gets more serious, you may see that your gums are bleeding, chewing is painful, or your teeth are sensitive. Extreme cases of gum disease can result in losing teeth.

Gum Disease in the Rest of Your Body

If the threat of losing your teeth isn’t enough to treat potential gum disease, here some of the ways it can make other areas of your body unhealthy, including some very serious health conditions.

  1. Gum Disease and the Lungs: Gum disease can make it easier for you to get infections of the lungs, such as acute bronchitis, pneumonia, or COPD because your body is distracted fighting off the infection in your mouth.

  2. Gum Disease and the Heart: Untreated gum disease allows harmful bacteria to get into your blood stream, which can begin to collect in your arteries. This can cause heart disease or stroke if ignored. Other habits, such as smoking, are linked to both gum disease and heart disease.

  3. Gum Disease and Pregnancy: Your risk of gum disease can increase while you are pregnant, but it can also affect you before conceiving and after birth. Gum disease can make it difficult for women to conceive and having gum disease while pregnant can increase the likelihood of delivering a premature baby.

You will want to take preventative and proactive measures in fighting gum disease, no matter your overall health. Because untreated gum disease can hurt you in many ways, don’t ignore tender, red, or bleeding gums. Make an appointment with Kansas City, MO cosmetic dentist Dr. Anderson today.

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