What Does Your Gum Disease Place You At Risk For?

If you have problems with your gums and haven't received dental care for them, you want to do so immediately. Gum conditions, such as periodontal disease, can increase your risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Learn how out-of-control periodontal disease affects your heart and why it's critical you see a periodontist soon.

Can Periodontal Disease Really Affect Your Heart?

Although gum disease develops in the soft tissues supporting your teeth, the disease has the potential to affect multiple tissues throughout your body, including your blood vessels. The blood vessels inside your gums and jawbone circulate blood to and from your heart on a continuous basis. Anything that enters your bloodstream can potentially end up inside the arteries, including the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.

If your arteries become inflamed with bacteria, it can reduce blood flow to your heart. The muscles in your heart need a steady supply of blood to beat properly. If your heart or its arteries don't receive enough blood, they can become swollen or blocked. You may become at risk for hypertension, heart attack, or stroke.

If you have concerns about your blood vessels and want to keep your heart strong, have a periodontist treat the infection in your gums.

What's the Most Effective Treatment for Gum Disease?

There are many effective ways to treat or manage periodontal disease. However, to find a treatment that works, you'll need to have a periodontist examine your gums. The examination can reveal the depth and severity of your gum disease as well as the stage of your gum disease. Each stage of periodontal disease requires specific treatments to control. 

For example, if you're in the first stage of periodontal disease (gingivitis), a dentist may try to reverse it with antibiotics and cleanings. If you're in the second stage of gum disease, a periodontist may need to remove some of your gum tissue to prevent the infection from moving beyond your gums.

The third stage may be the most difficult to treat in some adults. This stage can destroy the tissues that hold your teeth in place. A dentist may surgically remove any teeth that succumb to gum disease and replace them with dental implants or dentures. If you need extractions in the future, a dental provider will tell you so immediately.

Any stage of gum disease has the potential to cause harm to your health. If you need treatment for your gums, visit a periodontist today.