Unhealthy Gums? Here Are Three Ways Your Health Is At Risk

If you have unhealthy gums, you probably already know that they can cause you a lot of discomfort, bleeding, and even bad breath. Unfortunately, the trouble that unhealthy gums can cause hardly stops there. Your entire body can potentially develop a series of problems simply because your gums aren't healthy. If you think or know that you have gum disease, here are three things that could end up happening to your body without proper dental care.

Tooth Loss

One of the most common problems with gum disease is the potential for tooth loss. While cavities often cause tooth loss, gum disease can too. When the gums become very sick and unhealthy, the infection that they carry can transfer to the tooth itself. From there, it can damage the root, pulp, or dentin of the tooth, ultimately causing it to die from the inside out. Once this process has occurred, there's no reversing it and you'll either need a root canal or a complete tooth extraction.

Cardiovascular Disease

Believe it or not, poor gum health may actually be connected to the health of your heart and arteries, too. Scientists, dentists, and doctors have theorized that bacteria from gum disease can transfer through your blood supply, causing infection and inflammation wherever it goes. Since all blood passes through the heart, this means that your heart is at risk of developing all of these problems, which can eventually cause heart disease.

In addition, inflammation of the arteries can potentially cause strokes or blood clots. If that weren't enough, people who have gum disease often have plaque build-up on their teeth and gums. This plaque can potentially get into the bloodstream as well, where it can cause the arteries to become clogged or hardened.

Dementia

At this time, there's no cure for dementia, so prevention is the best course of action. Simply caring for your gums by flossing, brushing, and regularly seeing your dentist may be one potential way to do that.

Science has shown that the plaques that are commonly found on the brain of patients with Alzheimer's are nearly identical to the plaque that's found in the mouth. This means that people who have a strong build-up of plaque and infected gums may be more likely to develop dementia later on in life. The thought is that plaque can make it into the bloodstream and end up at the brain, where it damages parts of the brain over time.

The good news is that if you're looking to protect your health, all you have to do is maintain good oral hygiene to give your entire body a boost. If you have frequent problems with gum disease or other dental problems, it's time to give your dentist a visit. Changing some of your habits may also be necessary, like giving up smoking.

Most people don't enjoy flossing, but it's the best way to ensure that your gums stay healthy and clean. If you don't have a daily flossing habit yet, it's a good time to start. Taking a few extra minutes every day to care for your teeth may keep other parts of your body healthy into old age, so get help if you are experiencing the symptoms of gum disease

Contact a dental clinic, like Professional Dental Center, for more help.

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