Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by the bacteria found in plaque, that sticky film that forms on the surface of your teeth. If the plaque isn’t removed by preforming proper oral care, such as brushing and flossing, it will invade the small spaces in-between your gums and teeth.
If the plaque is left to settle, your gums can become inflamed and infected. And if left untreated, your overall health becomes at risk. Because if you think about it, your mouth is your first line of defense from the outside world. Here are a few examples of the way gum disease can affect your health:
Heart disease. Several studies have shown that people with gum disease are very likely to have poor health, including heart attacks. It is recommended that cardiologists ask about any gum disease issues, and periodontists ask patients about their heart health.
Diabetes. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you are more likely to have gum disease and inflammation may be partly to blame. Those with diabetes are also more likely to contract infections, one being gum disease, and if your diabetes isn’t under control, you’re at even higher risk to develop gum disease.
Premature births. Although studies are still ongoing, some research has found a link between premature birth and gum disease. A few researchers have found women that have had periodontal disease treated, helps them carry their baby to full term.
Dementia. Some studies have found that gum disease may raise the risk of dementia later in life. Others research shows that periodontal problems may be associated with mild cognitive impairment that can make daily life more difficult.
To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at (951) 688-3442 or through the website.
Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.