While most people are vigilant about caring for their teeth, not everyone is aware of how important it is to care for your gums. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gum disease, which can be very dangerous if not treated properly. Here are 5 dangers of gum disease that everyone should be aware of, and tips for preventing it.
If gums are not properly cared for, the condition could progress to periodontitis (Source: Complete Dental Health). In this case, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, allowing bacteria to gain easier access to the roots, tissue and bone. When this happens, the bone and connective tissue begins to break down, and the teeth can become loose and need to be removed.
Risk of Heart Disease
In some cases, gum disease can lead to issues with your heart. It is believed that the inflammation caused by the harmful bacteria in your mouth can lead to problems with your heart, and can also exacerbate preexisting conditions.
Risk of Stroke
The likelihood of suffering a stroke increases when a person has an oral disease or infection. In fact, the risk caused by gum disease is comparable to that of a person suffering from high blood pressure. Gum disease is also twice more likely to be a contributor to your risk of a non-fatal stroke than diabetes.
Increase in Blood Sugar
Those with periodontal diseases can have a hard time controlling their blood sugar. This can lead to complications in those who are diabetic, and make insulin and diet harder to regulate effectively. Additionally, people who have diabetes are more likely to suffer gum disease than those who have normal insulin and sugar levels.
Complications in Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is recommended that you make a dental appointment to ensure that your teeth and gums are in good health. Women who suffer from periodontal disease are more likely to go into preterm labor and have infants with a low birth weight. Like diabetes, those who are pregnant may also be at an increased risk for gum disease.
Gum disease can have dire consequences for not only your mouth, but your whole body. In order to prevent gum disease, you should brush twice a day and floss at least once. It is also recommended that you visit your dentist every 6 months, as the dentist’s tools are the only means to fully remove plaque and tartar buildup in your mouth.