Gum Disease Is Bad for Your Health
One of the most common impacts of poor oral health is gum disease, also called periodontal disease. According to estimates by the CDC, about 47% of all adults age 30 and over have gum disease. This increases with age, and more than 70% of adults age 65 and older have gum disease.
This is bad news because gum disease can significantly impact your health. It has been linked to an elevated risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Autoimmune disorders
Gum disease can make it harder for you to control your blood sugar, increasing your risk of diabetes. Gum disease can also increase your risk of cardiovascular problems like atherosclerosis (hardened, scarred, or clogged arteries) and high blood pressure. It can also increase your risk of dangerous heart attacks and strokes. Inhaling bacteria from unhealthy gums can lead to pneumonia.
Gum disease bacteria have developed numerous techniques to fool your immune system. Left untreated, gum disease can affect your immune system strong enough to lead to autoimmune disorders, where the immune system attacks your body. The most commonly associated form is rheumatoid arthritis, in which your immune system attacks your joints.
Oral bacteria release powerful toxins, too, and these toxins are commonly found in the brains of people with dementia, accounting for the strong link between gum disease and dementia.
Some studies show a link between gum disease and many types of cancer. There seems to be a strong link at least between gum disease and stomach and esophageal cancer.
This is just a fraction of the significant health effects caused by gum disease.