Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is a common mouth infection that affects the bones and tissues that supports and surrounds your teeth. This disease is caused by plaque, which comes as a result of the food that you eat getting mixed up with the bacteria and yeast that subsists in your mouth. Plaque then forms over your teeth and if it is not removed by brushing regularly, regular flossing, and going for regular dental checkups, it could result in a gum disease where the gums become infected then inflamed.
If the current research findings are anything to go by, there is reason to worry about gum disease, as it has been linked to other diseases affecting the other parts of the body. There is enough evidence to believe that periodontal diseases are linked to stroke, diabetes, heart complications, pregnancy, and diabetes, reason enough to take necessary precaution and safeguard your health. But how exactly does this happen? Because the bacteria in plaque that gets sandwiched between your teeth and gum can get into your bloodstream, which then will travel in the body causing serious health complications?
The relationship between periodontal disease and heart complications is such that the bacteria in the mouth when it gets entrapped in the bloodstream once the gums become inflamed, mix with platelets, cells responsible for blood clotting. The bacteria and the cells can then lodge into blood vessel walls. It is these clots that lead to a life-threatening heart disease. But, when you keep your gums healthy and take care of your oral health, you can significantly reduce your risk of getting a heart attack.
As for gum disease and stroke, it is the fatty deposits stuck in the carotid arties that lead to stroke. This happens when the gums are inflamed as up to 40% of the bacteria that contributes to the fatty deposits come from the mouth. Stomach ulcers is also linked to gum disease in that if the bacterial count that stays in your mouth is high, some of it will travel to the stomach lining thus causing gastric ulcers. If no action is taken against the bacteria, it will be a vicious continuous cycle that causes infection and re-infection of ulcers.
Pregnant women are also not spared by this disease, a problem which poses serious health risks to the unborn babies. So serious is gum disease in pregnant women that those who suffer from it are 8 times more likely to have a premature birth of an underweight infant.
To be able to overcome gum disease which in effect will significantly reduce the risks of developing life threatening diseases, it is always recommended that you observe good oral hygiene. This you do by brushing your teeth the right away, at least twice a day, flossing in between meals every day, and eating a healthy well balanced diet. You should equally avoid such things as sugary snacks, alcohol and tobacco which are known to facilitate the multiplication of bacteria in the mouth. Last but not least, you should schedule regular appointments with your dentist.