How Gum Disease Affects Your Health
Gum disease can make your teeth loose and can even lead to tooth loss. But it’s also linked to serious health effects throughout your body. It’s been linked to:
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune disorder
How does gum disease cause these impacts? Remember, gum disease is a chronic infection. Any uncontrolled infection that persists for months or years is likely to seriously impact your health.
Oral bacteria travels through your blood to your heart. It can cause a serious heart infection, but it also leads to clogging of your arteries. Not only are bacteria found in the plaque clogging your arteries, but bacteria also may be responsible for producing the fats that cause those clogs, too, perhaps more than the fat in your diet.
The chronic immune response to gum disease causes systemic inflammation, which can contribute to dementia and cancer risk. And as oral bacteria try to trick or subvert your immune system, this may lead to autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system attacks your joints. Oral bacteria have also been shown to keep your immune system from recognizing cancer stages, which can increase your cancer risk.
Treating gum disease is vital to protecting your overall health.