Here’s what I learned today… my gum health issues are intrinsically linked to other health issues. Talk about an eye-opener. Let me take you back to how I came across this information.
After a routine dental exam, I learned I had the beginnings of gum disease and was referred to the experts at Periodontal Associates in Mississauga to address my health issues. My Periodontal Associates team talked with me about how they would help address the immediate problem at hand, but then the discussion turned to my overall health issues and the importance of identifying and correcting periodontal disease before it can lead to more dangerous health problems.
Now that I know more, I wanted to share my experience with you so that prevention becomes a part of your regular health care plan. Here’s what I know…recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association of periodontal disease with increased risk of:
- Heart Disease: While it has been shown that bacteria may affect the heart, evidence is now mounting that suggests people with periodontal disease may be more at risk for heart disease and have nearly twice the risk of suffering a heart attack, than patients without periodontal disease.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without. Those who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk. Research also suggests that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways – periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar.
- Cancer: Researchers found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers. (Source: perio.org)
- Osteoporosis: It is thought that the bones of the mouth have been determined to be susceptible to the same conditions the bones of the rest of the body and vice versa. Early signs of periodontal disease could point to lack of strong bone structure elsewhere in the body.
Know the signs of periodontal disease so that you can be proactive with your gum and overall health. If you experience any of the following, seek advice from a periodontal expert immediately:
- Swollen or red gums
- Gums that are tender or bleed easily
- Chronic bad breath
- Areas of gum that appear to be pulling back from the teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Sensitive teeth
- Teeth that are loose
The intent isn’t to scare you, but if you take one step to ensure strong gum health, this will have been worth it. Visit a periodontal associate now.