How Gum Disease Affects Your Overall Health

The health of your mouth is incredibly important. In fact, the health of your mouth is directly related to the health of the rest of your body. Continue reading to learn more about how gum disease affects your overall health.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is referred to clinically as periodontal disease. It is essentially an infection of the gum tissue, caused by large amounts of harmful bacteria on both the surfaces of the teeth as well as below the gumline.

Bacteria lingers in the mouth in the form of a sticky substance known as plaque. When plaque is not properly removed by regular home care and professional cleaning appointments, it hardens into a substance known as tartar. Tartar is a rock-hard substance that is impossible to remove without the help of a professional dental tool.

As the bacteria lingers and grows, it eats away at the bone and gum tissues. Pockets form between the gum and tooth, which trap the bacteria and allow even further progression of the condition. 

If proper intervention is not taken, the patient will experience the following symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Complete loss of teeth
  • Bleeding/swelling gums
  • Bone/gum recession 

Increased Risk of Health Conditions

The development of gum disease puts you at risk for developing various different health conditions, such as:

  • Heart Disease: Gum disease is an infection. If left untreated, the infection has the ability to enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart. This can result in inflammation, infection or disease of the heart.
  • Diabetes: Periodontal disease, when severe, leads to increased blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels that can not be controlled can lead to the development of diabetes.
  • Stroke: Gum disease can cause the hardening of the arteries, which in turn can cause blockages that can lead to stroke. 

Gum Disease Treatment in Oakton, VA

While gum disease can not be reversed, it can be successfully managed with regular deep cleanings

During these cleanings, your hygienist will remove all signs of plaque and tartar both above and below the gumline. Antibiotics will then be placed underneath the gums in order to ensure that bacteria will not be able to continue to grow. Your dentist and hygienist will continue to monitor the condition of your gums as you continue your treatment.

With proper home care and regular attendance to all of your cleaning appointments, you will be able to successfully manage your gum disease and prevent it from worsening. Not only is this beneficial for the health of your teeth and gums; it is beneficial for the overall health of your body, as well. 

Here at Oakton Dental Center, we are here to help you stay happy and healthy with proper oral care and treatment. 

We proudly service Oakton and the surrounding areas of Fairfax and Vienna. For more information about gum disease, or to get scheduled for gum disease treatment in Oakton, give us a call anytime at (703) 938-3405