Getting to the Root of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a pretty serious condition in and of itself, but did you know that it can sometimes be a symptom of a greater problem?

Most of the time, gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is caused by lack of good oral hygiene. Bacteria congregates around and under the gum line, causing the tissue to swell and decay.

However, it’s possible that gum disease are related to a larger problem like diabetes or heart disease.

Heart Disease and Stroke

The American Academy of Periodontology cites that some studies have show a link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Scientists have not proven the correlation yet. However, the evidence does suggest there is a link.

Your gums house blood vessels that flow to your teeth providing the teeth with nutrients. When the gums are faced with periodontal disease, the bacteria infects these blood vessels and subsequently travels through the bloodstream to the heart.

Some scientists believe that the inflammation that comes with periodontal disease could possibly lead to heart disease.

Beyond this possible link, gum disease and heart disease are linked in another way: infections.

If a patient with heart disease also contracts periodontal disease, regardless of the underlying cause, it can cause complications.

For this reason, Houston dentists will often prescribe antibiotics for patients with heart disease before conducting any dental procedures.

There are other issues that some studies have found. Patients who have had a stroke or brain ischemia are at higher risk of having oral infections, including periodontal disease.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

Diabetes is a debilitating disease that often results in reduced blood flow, development of sores, and increase likelihood of infections.

The latter of these includes periodontal disease. Patients with diabetes who do not have good control over the disease are very likely to develop gum disease. The most common sign people may notice is a persistent bad breath that doesn’t go away with proper oral hygiene.

Additionally, diabetic patients with gum disease may find it difficult to control their blood sugar levels.

Treating the underlying cause of gum disease is the only way to curb the disease and prevent further damage. Whether it’s due to bad hygiene, diabetes, heart disease, or any other issue, focus on the root cause to have a happy, healthy mouth.