Oral Health and the Rest of the Body
Caring for your smile not only impacts how it looks and functions but the effects can be positive on your overall health. As the gateway to the rest of the body, keeping your teeth and gums healthy can prevent serious health issues.
Dr. Joseph LoPinto provides a variety of dental services that enhance the health and beauty of your smile. He emphasizes the importance of oral health and its effect on the body. Whether you have an existing condition such as diabetes or are simply looking to protect your dental health, understanding this oral-systemic connection can determine the quality of your overall health.
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Gum disease is a common dental issue which can cause severe infection in the mouth and beyond. If caught early, however, the spread of infection can be halted. Some of the major signs of this disease are bleeding, swollen gums, and at its most severe, receding gums leading to tooth loss. The infection and bacteria produced from this disease can leak into the bloodstream, aggravating existing conditions. Gum disease has been linked to health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Gum disease does not cause diabetes but does impact the quality of health for diabetic patients. Patients with diabetes may be more prone to developing gum disease and infection. Periodontal disease will impact how well they control their blood sugar levels.
Diabetics may have difficulty treating gum disease, as their immune systems are unable to combat the infection. Diabetes calls for a strict diet of limited sugars, but keeping your gums healthy may prevent further complications.
Pregnancy and Increased Gum Disease Risk
A link has also been found between pregnancy and gum disease. A pregnant woman is more likely to develop gum disease due to the hormonal changes and increased blood flow. If left untreated during pregnancy, the infection can then spread to the baby, leading to a variety of birth defects.
The Link Between Heart Disease and Gum Disease
Heart disease and gum disease all have common risk factors, such as smoking, unhealthy diet, and excess body weight. However, no clear connection between the two conditions has been identified. Inflammation irritates blood vessels, limiting the amount of blood that travels from the heart to the rest of the body. This leads to heart attacks and high blood pressure. Inflammation due to gum disease, if not treated, could cause this to occur.
Gum disease is a treatable condition and can be reversed if caught early. The dentist can provide treatment for gums and educate you on the best methods for protecting your gum health. Schedule a visit with our office today to keep your gums healthy and disease-free.