When you develop periodontal disease (more commonly known as gum disease), there are several things that you immediately have to consider. For example, how severe is it, and how extensive will your treatment need to be in order to control it? In addition, your periodontist will discuss several lesser known but equally important considerations about your gum disease, such as how it can impact your overall health, any current medical conditions you have, or medications you’re currently taking. Not only can these considerations affect your periodontal treatment; they can also become worse under the influence of gum disease if you don’t treat it as soon as possible.
The basics of gum disease development
Periodontal disease is the result of an unchecked infection in your gums known as gingivitis. This infection develops when certain kinds of harmful oral bacteria form plaque and tartar between your teeth roots and periodontal tissues (or gums). One component of this plaque and tartar, the bacteria group known as Porphyromonas gingivalis, trick your immune system into unleashing unchecked inflammation throughout your gum tissues. The irritation and inflammation that ensue become more prominent as gingivitis grows worse and develops into more severe periodontal disease.
A connection to systemic health concerns
Inflammation is one of the driving factors behind the destruction that severe periodontal disease causes to your gums. The rampant swelling, coupled with the infection caused by oral bacteria, can cause gum tissues to erode and, eventually, the jawbone structure underneath them, as well. Inflammation is also a significant component in many other health conditions, too, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, most forms of dementia, and more. Patients who exhibit severe periodontal disease for many years are often at a much higher risk of developing other chronic inflammatory concerns, or experiencing worse symptoms if they already do.
What this means for your oral-systemic health
Fortunately, having periodontal disease doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll develop other chronic inflammatory concerns later in life. In fact, with proper, specialized care and maintenance, you can effectively control your periodontal disease and keep your smile healthy (and free of inflammation) for the rest of your life. This will help you avoid systemic concerns as well as lower your risks of more direct consequences of gum disease, such as single or multiple tooth loss.
Treat gum disease and improve your overall health
With the strong connection between your oral health and your systemic wellbeing, keeping your smile safe from gum disease can have a significantly positive impact on the rest of your health. For more information, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.