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How Gum Disease Affects Your Body

Researchers have observed that people with gum disease (when compared to people without gum disease) is associated with several other diseases. They were more likely to develop heart disease, stroke or have difficulty controlling blood sugar.
Other studies showed that women with gum disease were more likely than those with healthy gums to deliver preterm, low birth weight babies. There may be other reasons, people with gum disease sometimes develop additional health problems.
Healthy gums can quickly become threatened when the body’s overall health diminishes or changes for any reason.
Aiming for a life free of gum disease will only help in leading a generally healthier life.
Diabetes is a risk factor for worsening gum disease, and gum disease is a risk factor for worsening blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Infact in the reputed dental clinics in Delhi, it’s the dentists, who during a routine dental examination have helped patients diagnose diabetes and advised them to get their blood sugar tested.
Diabetic patients are more likely to develop gum disease, than people without diabetes probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.
Individuals who have poor control over blood sugar have a greater prevalence and severity of gingival and periodontal inflammation. It has been suggested that increased blood sugar level promotes periodontitis and its progression.
Gum disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Severe gum disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people who don’t have their diabetes under control at increased risk for diabetic complications.
A greater glucose and calcium content in the saliva favors an increase in the amount of calculus and irritating factors to oral tissues, leading to gum disease, which is the most common dental manifestation in the oral cavity among diabetic patients (75%).
Several studies have shown that gum disease is associated with heart disease. Gum disease infection releases bacteria into the bloodstream that causes clots and may cause a heart attack or stroke. Dentists in Delhi and dentists in India, take out time and educate patients how the bacteria from the gums can go in the blood stream and the heart causing heart problems.
Gum disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Men are already more likely to develop heart disease than women. Maintaining periodontal health is another way to reduce this risk. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis (inflammation of the inner tissues of the heart) may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by compromised bone strength, predisposing to an increased risk of fracture, with bone strength determined by both bone density and bone quality.
Researchers have suggested that a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. Studies suggest that osteoporosis may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports the teeth may be decreased, which means the teeth no longer have a solid foundation.
Similarly, periodontal disease is characterized by the absorption of bone, specifically the alveolar bone, as well as by loss of the soft-tissue attachment of the tooth. Due to the commonality of bone loss between periodontal disease and osteoporosis, the outcomes of both are similar.
Research has found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with gum disease. There is alteration of the respiratory epithelium by cytokines from gum disease, which facilitate the infection of the epithelium with respiratory pathogens.
Severe infections of the lungs can develop after the aspiration of the salivary secretion, especially in patients with periodontitis. In periodontitis, there is alteration of the mucous surface by salivary enzymes leading to an increase in the adhesion and colonization of respiratory pathogens.thus the dental clinics in Delhi and the dental clinics in India, are taking special care to remind patients to be regular with their 6 monthly clean and check up appointments.
Gum disease has also been found to raise the risk of dementia later in life. Researchers have found that periodontal problems may also be associated with milder cognitive impairment, such as memory problems that make activities of daily life more difficult. In a recent study, participants who had the worst gum disease scored the worst on memory tests and calculations. Since dementia is such a terrible disease dentists in the reputed dental clinics in Delhi are making it a point to counsel patients with respect to this.
It is an autoimmune disease marked by inflammation and painful joints. People with RA are more likely to have gum disease, also they had more missing teeth than people who don’t have RA.
A study found that people with a severe form of RA had less pain, less swelling, and morning stiffness after their gum disease was treated.
Researchers found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.
During puberty, due to hormonal changes an increased level of sex hormones, such as progesterone and possibly estrogen, causes increased circulation of blood to the gums. This may cause an increase in the gum’s sensitivity and exaggerate the way gum tissue reacts to irritants, including food particles and plaque. During this time, the gums may become swollen, turn red, tender and more likely to bleed during brushing, flossing or chewing.
There is also some evidence that the increased level of sex hormones increases the growth of some bacteria just beneath the gums around the teeth. The gums react to local irritants and swell. The cause of the swelling due to local irritants must be removed by a dental professional to protect the bone and tissue surrounding the teeth from damage. Afterward, you will need to be diligent in your home regimen of oral care to prevent further swelling. As puberty progresses, your gums will have less tendency to swell. Brushing and flossing along with regular professional dental care are vital at this stage in your young womanhood.
Gingivitis (red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums) can be much more prevalent during menstruation. Again, this is due to hormonal changes, an increased amount of progesterone in your system before your period begins, accompanied by plaque accumulation. Women with this condition may experience bleeding gums, bright red and swollen gums and sores on the tongue and inside of the cheek three or four days before their period begins. Menstruation gingivitis occurs right before a woman’s period and clears up once her period has started. As always, good home oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, is important to maintain oral health, especially during these hormonal fluctuations.
Pregnant women are particularly prone to gum disease due to hormonal changes associated with pregnancy.
All infections are cause for concern among pregnant women because they pose a risk to the health of the baby. Pregnant women who have gum disease may be more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small which sets up the baby for health risks.
Teeth and gums are affected by your pregnancy, just as other tissues in the body. Most commonly, women experience increased gingivitis, beginning in the second or third month that increases in severity through the eighth month and begins to decrease in the ninth month.
This condition, called pregnancy gingivitis, is marked by an increased amount of swelling, bleeding and redness in the gum tissue in response to a very small amount of plaque or calculus. Because of the increase in hormones that occurs with pregnancy, the gum tissues are more susceptible to attack from bacteria and other pathogens. So the dentists in Delhi have been educating ladies about the importance of gum cleaning during pregnancy.
If your gums are healthy before pregnancy, you are less likely to have problems. Pregnancy gingivitis usually does not affect healthy gum tissue, but just previously inflamed regions. If left untreated, pregnancy gingivitis can damage the gums and bone supporting your teeth. This damage then leads to loss of gum tissue and bone.
Occasionally, the inflamed gum tissue will form a large lump. These gum growths, called pregnancy tumors (or granuloma), usually appear in the third month of pregnancy, but may occur at any time during the course of pregnancy. A pregnancy tumor is a large swelling of gum tissue with many deep red pin-point markings on it and is not cancerous in any way. The tumor is usually painless, however, it can become painful if it interferes with your bite or if debris collects beneath it. It is an extreme inflammatory response to any local irritant (including food particles, plaque or calculus) that may be present.
If a pregnancy tumor forms, it may be treated by professional removal of all local irritants and diligent home oral care. Any further treatment or removal would need to be discussed with your dentist.
Gum disease should be managed effectively during pregnancy. Many women who become pregnant think that they should avoid the dentist to keep their pregnancy safe, but they shouldn’t miss their dental cleanings as long as they feel strong and comfortable enough. It may be necessary to get professional dental cleanings more often during your second or early third trimester to remove irritants and help reduce the chance of developing gingivitis. Remember, if you have tender, bleeding or swollen gums during your pregnancy, notify your dentist as soon as possible.
Menopause and Post-Menopause
Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may experience a number of physical changes including some that occur in the mouth. The decline in estrogen that occurs with menopause also puts women at greater risk for loss of bone density. Loss of bone, specifically in the jaw, can lead to tooth loss. Receding gums can be a sign of bone loss in the jawbone. Receding gums also expose more of the tooth surface to potential tooth decay.
In addition, menopausal gingivostomatitis affects a small percentage of women. This condition is marked by gums which are red and shiny, bleed easily and that range in color from the normally pale to deep red. Other symptoms include a dry, burning sensation in the mouth, abnormal taste sensations (especially salty, peppery or sour), extreme sensitivity to hot and cold foods or drinks, a decrease in saliva flow that can result in dry mouth, and finally, difficulty removing any partial dentures. Most women find that estrogen supplements help to relieve these symptoms. If you are diagnosed with menopause gingivostomatitis, your dentist can help you manage your condition with special medications.
Periodontal health for men is extremely important as it may impact a variety of other health factors.
Research has found that periodontal disease is higher in men than in women. Thus diligent counseling for men by dentists is being done both in dental clinics in Delhi and dental clinics in India.
Prostate Health
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is an enzyme created in the prostate that is normally secreted in very small amounts. However, when the prostate becomes inflamed, infected, or affected by cancer, PSA is secreted at higher levels. Research has shown that men with indicators of periodontal disease such as red, swollen or tender gums as well as prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) have higher levels of PSA than men with only one of the conditions. This means that prostate health may be associated with periodontal health, and vice versa.
A man’s periodontal health could affect his sexual health. Men with periodontal disease, especially those younger than 30 or older than 70, are at increased risk of developing impotence, according to research. Researchers believe that inflammation may be the link between the two conditions; prolonged chronic inflammation (the same type of inflammation that is associated with periodontal disease) can cause damage to blood vessels leading to impotence.
Research has found that men with a history of gum disease are 14 percent more likely to develop cancer than men with healthy gums. Specifically, men with periodontal disease may be 49 percent more likely than women to develop kidney cancer, 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers.

Posted By – Dr. Shriya