There are many reasons to worry about periodontal disease. For instance, it can cause permanent damage to your gums and the ligaments that hold your teeth in place, making it the leading cause of adult tooth loss. However, how it affects your oral health isn’t the only significant consequence of severe periodontal disease. For many patients, its presence and the prolonged inflammation associated with it can also have a substantial impact on their systemic wellbeing. Today, we examine the systemic worries of chronic periodontal disease, and how managing the condition can improve your chances of avoiding other health issues.
The Way Periodontal Disease Progresses
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is the cause of oral bacteria overwhelming your gums, settling underneath your periodontal tissues. As they do so, they release toxins that irritate the tissues, and one type of bacteria (Porphyromonas gingivalis) produces a particular molecule that affects your immune system’s ability to fight it. For example, the molecule interferes with your body’s ability to control inflammation, leading to the extensive tissue swelling that marks periodontal diseases. The longer the bacteria are present, the worse the inflammation becomes.
What this Means for Your Overall Health
When you have periodontal disease, bleeding gums are among the most common symptoms. As the tissues bleed, oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream, such as P. gingivalis. When they do, they can continue affecting your immune system, causing unchecked inflammation in other parts of your body as it travels. Because inflammation is a significant risk factor in chronic issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and more, the presence of P. gingivalis in your system can raise your risks of these conditions, as well.
Safeguard Your Periodontal and Systemic Health
By preventing periodontal disease or keeping it under control, you can prevent it from seriously affecting your systemic health. For more information, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.