One of the most harmful dental conditions that can develop in your mouth is periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. This infection causes inflammation in your gum tissue, and it can eventually destroy the gums and jaw bone, causing tooth loss. As debilitating as the effects of gum disease are on your mouth, the effects it can have on the rest of your body is even worse.
Diabetes increases one’s risk for periodontal disease, and periodontal disease can increase a diabetic’s risk for developing complications. Gum disease disrupts the blood sugar levels, making them more difficult to control.
When you have periodontal disease, then you have a lot of harmful bacteria living in your mouth. As you breathe in, these bacteria may be sucked into your respiratory tract and lungs, where they can cause infections like pneumonia.
Pregnant women should be wary of gum disease because it can cause complications with the birth of their child. Gum disease may increase the biological fluids that induce labor, which can result in premature birth and a low birth weight.
The bacteria of periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and nerve canals of your body. If they reach the head, then they can increase the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
This is one of the most prevalent and harmful problems periodontal disease can create. When the oral bacteria enter the blood stream, then they may eventually infect the inner lining of the heart, causing a condition called endocarditis. They can also cause atherosclerosis, where the heart’s arteries harden and become lined with plaque, blocking blood flow. This can result in a heart attack or even stroke.