Many people don’t realize just how much your oral health impacts your overall physical health. One of the oral conditions that is often overlooked or undertreated is gum disease. Most people will ignore sensitive or bleeding gums until they end up at the dentist for another problem. This can be a big mistake because gum disease can increase your risk for several conditions, including stroke.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is more than just sensitive gums. Gum disease is caused by harmful bacteria growing in your mouth. When the gums become sensitive and pink, it is the beginning of gingivitis. If treated at this stage, the condition is relatively harmless. If left untreated, gum disease will penetrate below the gum line, forming pockets of infection that can cause tooth and bone loss.
What Does Gum Disease Have to Do with Health?
The harmful bacteria that penetrates below the gum line can spread throughout the body, causing infection and illness. Bacteria from the mouth has been known to cause serious infections of vital organs, including the heart, brain, and lungs.
Studies have shown that the bacteria responsible for gum disease have been found in carotid arteries as well as blood vessels in the brain. These bacteria can actually cause constriction or blockage of these major arteries, which can create clots that could cause a heart attack or stroke.
If you have been experiencing sensitivity or bleeding of your gums during brushing, don’t wait to see a dentist. Make sure that the problem is addressed before it becomes a major health risk. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.