Maintaining your oral health is not only limited to keeping your teeth clean through brushing and flossing, but also requires you to keep tabs on your gums. Recent studies have found significant links between gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis and the risk of acquiring diabetes, stroke, cancers, and even heart diseases. Before gum diseases get worse and lead to more serious health problems, it’s best to have your gums checked and treated by leading Poway dentists.

New relationships between periodontitis, Alzheimer's disease, and heart attacks, Dentistry IQ, February 3, 2015

According to the Journal of Dental Research, severe periodontitis is the sixth most prevalent health condition in the world, and the prevalence of gum or periodontal diseases increases as a person ages, particularly when they reach the age of 38. If left unchecked, gum diseases can lead to worse health conditions that can ultimately lead to death.

Heart Diseases

Most people are aware that there’s a link between periodontal diseases and the risk of acquiring heart diseases, although there hasn’t been much substantial evidence for this claim until now. According to a recent research from the University of Granada, the extent or severity of chronic periodontitis is directly related to the severity of myocardial infarction, or the death of cardiac cells that leads to heart attack. Past studies have shown that the bacteria which causes gum diseases can also cause artery blockages and even the inflammation of the heart’s arteries.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Millions of elderly people are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, and now, a study has discovered the link between this condition and gum disease. According to the research published in the journal Geriatrics & Gerontology International, chronic systemic inflammation worsens the inflammatory processes in the brain due to the release of inflammatory mediators. Since chronic periodontitis likewise leads to the release of these damaging inflammatory substances, it is seen as a factor that can aggravate Alzheimer’s disease.

Effects on the Immune System

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has revealed that the bacteria causing periodontitis can affect the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful microorganisms. The bacteria causing periodontitis known as Porphyromonas gingivalis causes an imbalance, called dysbiosis, in which the killing ability of immune cells is blocked while its ability to cause inflammation is retained. This process can further exacerbate your periodontitis, or even cause the conditions enumerated above.

Gum diseases not only cause tooth decay or other dental problems, but they could also have a direct effect on your overall health, as proven by research. To keep your gums healthy and for you to stay away from serious health problems, regular visits to a reliable Poway dentist from a leading dental office like A+ Family Dentistry is a must.

(Source: New relationships between periodontitis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart attacks, Dentistry IQ, February 3, 2015)