The Dangers of Gum Disease
It’s important to catch gum disease early to prevent further health problems.
Problems that affect your teeth don’t just affect your mouth—they often negatively other parts of the body as well. Although brushing and flossing can go a long way to preventing gum disease, it’s important that you visit our Frederick and Urbana, MD, general, cosmetic, and restorative dentists, Dr. Jared Lawson, Dr. EJ Stringer, Dr. Tammira Badakhshan, and Dr. Nikta Pashai, oral surgeons Dr. Brian Chang and Dr. Leo Perez, periodontist Dr. Ashley Seals, prosthodontist Dr. Amos Chi, orthodontist Dr. Stephen Tigani, pediatric dentist Dr. Leslie Oakes, and endodontist Dr. Patik Patel, as well for regular dental cleanings.
As one of the leading causes of tooth loss today, gum disease is surprisingly common, affecting millions of American adults every year. In its earliest stages, you may notice that your gums are puffy or bleed whenever you brush and floss. These are telltale signs of gum disease and they shouldn’t go ignored. By visiting your Frederick and Urbana, MD, dentist right away for care, we can actually reverse these early gum disease stages.
However, if gingivitis is left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis, which not only damages your teeth and bone, but also:
That’s right—your gums and brain are linked. In fact, there is a direct link between gum disease, tooth loss, and cognitive functioning. For example, older men who have lost teeth due to gum disease are at a higher risk for cognitive decline than those with full sets. Those with periodontal disease also have an increase in beta-amyloid within the brain, which is a marker for Alzheimer’s.
There is also a correlation between heart disease and gum disease. While someone with one disease won’t necessarily have the other, these two often appear together. Additionally, those who smoke or drink heavily are also more likely to develop both of these issues.
While research is still being conducted to figure out the correlation, some doctors believe that the connection is due to inflammation. As inflammation progresses it damages organs and tissues within the body including the cardiovascular system.
One study also found that there was a small, but exponentially increasing, risk of cancer in people with periodontal disease. More specifically, there was a significant link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer. The link? A type of bacteria that’s found in both gum disease and in tumors of the intestinal system.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
If you are dealing with the symptoms of gum disease and are looking for a dental team that can provide you with care in Frederick and Urbana, MD, then call Pearlfection Dentistry today. We are only 45 minutes from Washington DC and Baltimore, making it convenient to get dental cleanings and care either before or after work. Call our office at (301) 663-5550 (Frederick) or (301) 831-8303 (Urbana).