Your gums act as the support structure for the teeth. Its maintenance is vital for a healthy set of teeth. Not taking care of your oral health won’t just result in discolored teeth and bad breath but will also yield more serious consequences that will affect your overall health.
In this blog, we take a look at some negative effects of unhealthy gums.
Periodontitis refers to inflammation of the gums and affects nearly half of the U.S. adult population. Its earlier stage is known as gingivitis. Inflammation is caused by certain bacteria which are already present in the mouth but are made harmful by feeding on the remnants of food substances and debris known as plaque. Advanced stages can cause the destruction of the jawbone and result in tooth loss.
The bacteria from periodontal disease and gum inflammation enter the bloodstream and reach the heart where they cause atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries). This disease causes plaque to settle on the inner walls of arteries which narrow the passageway and restrict the flow of blood. Advanced stages can also result in the inner lining of the heart to become inflamed and infected, a disease known as endocarditis.
Gum diseases have been known to lead to the development of lung infections due to bacteria being carried from the infected teeth via breathing. It is also considered to be a contributing factor in contracting pneumonia.
Research has found that treating periodontal disease in pregnant women reduces chances of premature births.
The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society claims that people with gum diseases are four times more likely to contract the disease because inflammation is common in both. Additionally, we know how bacteria can be carried throughout the body via the bloodstream which can cause one to contract rheumatoid arthritis.
Poor oral health also negatively affects the brain. Inflamed gums can release harmful substances which spread to the nerve channels and result in the depletion of brain cells. This can lead to memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.
The most effective way of prevention lies in taking good care of your oral hygiene. This includes routine brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. It also includes visiting the dentist at least twice a year for checkup and cleaning. The following tips should also be implemented:
· Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
· Use mouthwash and toothpaste that contains fluoride
· Limit sugary drinks and food
· Stick to a nutritious and well-balanced diet