Gum disease has varying stages of severity but the signs and symptoms remain the same. Typically, gum disease is diagnosed as puffy or swollen gums that are red, tender to the touch, and can bleed with flossing or heavy brushing. More advanced stages of gum disease can have teeth separating or the gums receding from the tooth eventually exposing the root. While in its own right gum disease is certainly something to take very seriously, it may be an indication of something else. Gum disease can be an indicator for bigger overall health concerns. Below, we take a look at some medical connections to gum disease.
It turns out that gum disease can be an indicator for diabetes. People with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease than those who do not have diabetes. Gum disease in people with diabetes is so common that it is often listed as one of the complications of having diabetes. Part of the reason why this is true is because people who have diabetes are more susceptible to infection. Unfortunately, while one is an indicator of the other, it seems that the two diseases share a collaborative relationship. The gum disease can make it very difficult for individuals to control their blood sugar. Particularly, bad gum disease can cause blood sugar to spike making it particularly difficult for diabetics to regain control of their blood sugar levels.
While there have not be any definitive studies to prove a direct relationship between gum disease and heart disease, there has been enough evidence to suggest that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease. In fact, those with gum disease may be two times more likely to have some sort of heart disease. Having gum disease may also make existing heart problems even worse. Take for example people with infective endocarditis who often are required to take antibiotics before routine dental exams. Scientists suggest that the link between gum and heart disease involves bacteria in the mouth. When a person flosses, brushes, or eats hard food, the gums may bleed release the bacteria into the blood stream. From here, the blood can travel to the heart and spark cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, there has also been a study that connects strokes to gum disease. The study concluded that those with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were more likely to suffer from an oral infection than those without ischemia.
There are several other diseases that can present their first symptoms as gum disease. Osteoporosis may first be spotted in people when their jaw bone structure fails to maintain teeth. The teeth can become weak and unstable due to deteriorating bone. Various lung diseases can also be linked to gum disease. Much the same as heart disease, dangerous bacteria that is found within the infected gums can be breathed into the respiratory system. Additionally, various forms of cancer including kidney, pancreatic, and different types of blood cancers are nearly 50% more likely to occur in people who already suffer from gum disease.
If you suspect that you may have some form of gum disease, please feel free to schedule an appointment with our team. Our team of experts are happy to examine your teeth and gums to ensure you are on the right path for healthy teeth. Feel free to check out our website to learn more about what services we can offer.