How Periodontal Disease Can Affect Systemic Health

When you learn that you have periodontal disease (also known as gum disease), the most immediate concern is treating and managing it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the damage that the condition causes will grow increasingly worse, leading to complications like tooth loss. In fact, unchecked periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, and to many patients, that can seem like the worst possible consequence. However, beyond losing teeth, the presence of severe gum disease can also lead to heightened risks of conditions beyond your oral health. At our Encinitas/San Diego periodontist’s office, we can help you stop gum disease from becoming such a threat with the help of highly personalized periodontal treatment.

The underlying dangers of gum disease

Periodontal disease is often called gum disease because it begins in and mainly affects your gum tissues. It’s the result of harmful oral bacteria overwhelming your gums and working their way underneath them, leading to irritation and inflammation that gradually destroys the tissues. As it grows even more severe, periodontal disease can also begin to erode the underlying jawbone structure that supports your teeth, which is what makes it the most frequent cause of adult tooth loss. This unchecked inflammation can also become a high-risk factor in the development of chronic conditions that are also connected to rampant inflammation.

Commonly associated health risks

Periodontal disease is just one type of inflammatory condition that can affect your health. The excessive swelling of any of your body’s tissues can inhibit the health and function of your cells. This makes it a common risk factor in some of the most common chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, some forms of dementia, and much more. Periodontal disease increases the risks of these issues when the harmful oral bacteria that cause gum inflammation, such as P. gingivalis, enter the bloodstream and travel to other areas of the body. The longer gum disease is left untreated, the higher the risks of this occurring.

What you can do to mitigate the risks

While the presence of untreated periodontal disease can raise your systemic health risks, treating and managing the disease can help you lower them. For example, with expert periodontal treatment, you can get gum inflammation under control and repair the severely damaged areas of your gums. If necessary, grafting can fortify your gums and/or jawbone and one or more dental implants can replace any teeth you may have lost. Most importantly, controlling the inflammation can stop the disease from having a negative impact on the state of your overall health.

Stop it from becoming a bigger threat

Periodontal disease can be a threat to your systemic health, but you can mitigate that threat with expert periodontal care. For more information, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.