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How Ignoring Gum Treatment Can Affect Other Parts of Your Body

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We are all probably aware of how gum health affects our teeth and overall oral health, but did you know that poor gum health can negatively affect other parts of your body? It’s true. Neglecting your dental health could lead to other problems, such as heart disease, lung disease, or premature birth.

Early gum disease treatment in Toronto can help patients manage their oral health and maintain their overall well-being. Ignoring gum treatment can lead to several avoidable health issues, some of them very serious.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease comes in several stages and affects the soft tissue of the mouth and surrounding bone structure. It develops as bacteria collects around and below the gum line. Left untreated, early-stage gum disease, commonly known as gingivitis, can quickly progress into periodontal disease, a condition that has far-reaching health consequences.

There are many gum treatment options in Toronto, and while it is never too late to seek help, it is always best to identify a problem early and get gum treatment as soon as possible.

Heart Health and Gum Disease

Many recent studies have uncovered a connection between poor oral health and cardiovascular issues, including heart disease and stroke. There are several theories as to why there is a correlation between the two. Some evidence suggests that bacteria from the mouth may travel through the bloodstream, triggering blood vessel inflammation and damage, leading to blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.

Lung Disease and Your Gums

Through your bloodstream is not the only way bacteria is circulating within your body. Bacteria build-up from your mouth can also enter your lungs through air passageways. These bacteria are believed to have the ability to cause some severe lung infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia, which could have deadly consequences for older or vulnerable populations.

Premature Birth and Gum Disease

Gum disease can have very serious consequences for pregnant women and their unborn babies. Studies have shown that gum disease increases the chances of premature birth and low fetal birth weight in otherwise healthy pregnancies. Gum disease during pregnancy is very common. As progesterone hormone levels increase, women become more susceptible to bacterial plaque build-up and gum disease, particularly toward the end of the pregnancy.

Issues with Diabetes

People with diabetes are particularly susceptible to infection, making them at increased risk for developing gum disease. Prompt gum treatment for people with diabetes is essential, as gum disease can increase blood sugar levels, and those with diabetes are slower to recover from infection than those without.

Signs of Gum Disease

At the earliest stages, signs of gum disease are often ignored. However, knowing what to look for can make gum treatment much more straightforward. Symptoms include:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath

More advanced gum disease symptoms may include:

  • Reddish-purple gums
  • Pus between teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Spaces developing between teeth

Gum Treatment in Toronto

When caught at the earliest stage, gum disease is often treatable with comprehensive cleaning. More advanced gum disease, however, will require more advanced treatment. Depending on the severity of the condition, gum treatment may require both non-surgical and surgical treatments, including:

  • Scaling
  • Root planing
  • Pocket reduction surgery
  • Soft tissue grafts
  • Bone grafting
  • Guided tissue regeneration

Prevention through proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings is the best defense against gum disease. However, if you have been experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, or suspect you may have gum disease, making an appointment for a dental checkup as soon as possible can save you from some potentially very harmful side effects.