What is periodontal disease?
Also known simply as “gum disease” or “periodontitis,” this disease is one of the most common oral infections.
And it’s not just the gums that are affected.
The “periodontium” is a complex network of ligaments and tissues that support and anchor your teeth. These structures are extremely important if you want to keep your teeth for life. Your teeth aren’t affixed directly into bone like dental implants are. Rather, they are cushioned, suspended, and nourished by this matrix of ligaments.
How it Starts
Bacteria in plaque left along the gumline can cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the surface layer of the gums. If this isn’t treated, it can advance right into that periodontium, transforming into periodontal disease.
When this deep layer gets infected, the gums become inflamed and pull away from the tooth. The bone around the teeth also eventually breaks down. This leads to teeth becoming mobile and eventually falling out.
What This Has to Do with Your Body
Scientists are not even entirely sure of the mechanisms behind it, but there is a definite link between periodontal disease and other health problems such as:
These connections could be due to bacteria entering the bloodstream from infected sites in the gums. It’s also likely that the chronic inflammation in the gums trigger inflammatory responses elsewhere.
Basically, when your mouth is fighting a disease like this, your entire immune system is strained.
Stay on top of your overall health by keeping your gums clean. Visit your dentist for a gum health assessment and to learn how to lower your risk for periodontal disease and treat symptoms early.
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