Approximately 56 million Americans are suffering from gum disease, which can lead to a myriad of health problems if left untreated. Gum disease can cause bad breath, tooth loss, and oral bone decay. If the bacteria found in plaque moves from the mouth to the lungs, you could also be at risk for more serious health complications. To learn about the potential health effects of untreated gum disease, see below:
- Systemic Inflammation
Gum disease begins as an infection of the gums, but as the infection worsens, bacteria begin looking for more places to roam. If the bacteria and its associated irritating toxins enter the bloodstream, the body could suffer a systemic inflammatory response. This is the body’s way of fighting bacterial infections, but it can take a toll: The inflammatory response involves sending an increased amount of nutrient-rich blood and white blood cells to the affected area to defeat the bacteria. If this systemic response continues for a prolonged period of time, the body will start harming itself, which can lead to organ dysfunction, hypotension, and respiratory disease.
- Immune Malfunction
When the body has to spend all of its resources fighting a single severe infection, the immune system can become drained and weak. This puts you at risk for contracting other illnesses and bacterial infections, which your body would be less capable of fighting.
- Shorter Life Expectancy
The increased risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and pancreatic cancer reduces your life expectancy. Furthermore, if you’re pregnant, gum disease can dramatically increase your risk of having a preterm birth or malnourished newborn, which can reduce the child’s life expectancy. Therefore, if you have gum disease or if you are pregnant, you should be diligent about seeing your dentist regularly.
Maintain optimal oral and overall health by visiting Colorado Advanced Dentistry. We specialize in enhancing proven general and cosmetic dental treatments using the latest technology. To learn more about the advanced dental solutions we offer, visit our website or call us at (720) 420-1103.