Recently, we discussed how gum disease develops, and how it works to destroy the gums and jawbone that support your teeth, making it the number one cause of adult tooth loss in America. As a progressive issue, gum disease develops and matures in stages, and when left untreated, can have devastating effects even beyond tooth loss and jawbone deterioration. Your Park Ridge implant dentists, Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas, explore how the components of gum disease can threaten your physical health by inciting similar damage in other areas of your body.
More than Tooth Loss
The actions of the bacteria that instigate gum disease are the secret to how gum disease destroys your smile’s foundation. Some oral bacteria, which form dental plaque as protection when they accumulate, release toxins that erode the connective tissue between your gums and teeth. The separation, or recession, of your gums is exacerbated by the germ Porphyromonas gingivalis, which tricks your immune system and incites excessive inflammation in your gum tissue. The redness, swelling, and bleeding that plagues your gums during this stage, called gingivitis, is a telltale sign of gum disease development, and offers a picture of how these same germs can pose a greater threat to your health than tooth loss.
Examining the Oral-Systemic Connection
There are many aspects to what experts have dubbed the oral-systemic connection, which refers to the relationship between your oral health and your systemic wellbeing. The mechanisms behind gum disease, like P. gingivalis, are a prominent factor in many of these oral-systemic aspects, and have been linked to a number of other chronic inflammatory diseases. For instance, if inflammation-causing germs enter your saliva, they can be aspirated into your lungs and lead to a variety of respiratory infections, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If the microbes enter your bloodstream through compromised gums or other oral tissues, they can be circulated through your system, and some studies have shown that gum disease germs can be a significant risk factor in the development of heart disease.
A Healthy, New Smile with Your Park Ridge Implant Dentists
Preventing gum disease, or treating it early, is your best chance at preventing its destructive consequences. If you’ve suffered tooth loss from gum disease, then one or more dental implants from your Park Ridge dentists can help restore your smile’s health and function after the disease has been brought under control. Once your smile is restored, however, diligent care is still required to ensure that gum disease doesn’t gain a second chance to destroy it. To learn more, schedule an appointment with your Park Ridge implant dentists by calling Loukas General Dentistry at (847) 696-1919. Located in the 60068 area, we proudly serve patients from Park Ridge and the surrounding Chicago communities.