If you thought that preventing gum disease is only to the benefit of your oral hygiene, think again. Gum disease, also called periodontitis, can be a prelude to more serious health problems far beyond your mouth. As it turns out, the health of your gums can dictate long term health from head to toe. Millions of Americans currently suffer from gum disease. Symptoms include swollen, red and tender gums. Gum disease is curable if caught early. Avoiding gum disease is as simple as flossing regularly, brushing your teeth twice a day, using mouthwash, and going for routine check-ups at the dentist. So just how is the condition linked to overall health? Research published on StudyFinds over the years reveals links between gum disease to everything from heart and blood pressure complications to mental health problems. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly to find out the health of your gums and learn ways to prevent periodontitis.
Here’s a look at some of the health issues tied to gum disease:
Increases risk of heart disease
Add gum disease to the growing list of factors that increase your risk of heart disease, according to findings. The association was stronger the more severe the periodontitis. “Our study suggests that dental screening programs including regular check-ups and education on proper dental hygiene may help to prevent first and subsequent heart events.” says Dr. Giulia Ferrannini of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and study author. “We postulate that the damage of periodontal tissues in people with gum disease may facilitate the transfer of germs into the bloodstream. This could accelerate harmful changes to the blood vessels and/or enhance systemic inflammation that is harmful to the vessels.” People with gum disease were 49% more likely to experience heart problems than people with healthy gums, the study concludes.