As a periodontist in Allen, TX, Dr. Marco Cueva is familiar with patients who underestimate the threat of periodontal disease, not recognizing that the progressive disease can leave a path of dental destruction that can eventually lead to tooth loss and more. By understanding the mechanisms of gum disease, however, you may begin to realize the advancing condition can pose a threat to much more than just your smile. Several studies have highlighted the role that periodontal disease and its bacterial instigators may have in the development of systemic health issues, such as life-threatening heart disease.

Porphyromonas Gingivalis and Periodontal Inflammation

If you’ve ever been treated for gingivitis (the beginning stage of periodontal disease), then you’re probably familiar with the excessive and unsightly periodontal inflammation that indicates gingivitis’ presence. Inflammation is an immune system response to harmful microorganisms, meant to neutralize them and drive them out before they can harm healthy tissue cells. The bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis, which can be found in dental plaque on your teeth and along your gum line, survives by manipulating and evading your body’s inflammatory response. As your immune system continues its attack, however, the excessive periodontal inflammation can damage your gums (causing them to bleed occasionally) and speed up the onset of periodontal disease.

The Dangers of Travelling Bacteria

When gum disease, or any other dental issue, compromises your soft oral tissues, the disturbance can provide a path for oral bacteria to enter your bloodstream. As they travel throughout your body, these microbes can wreak the same devastation in other areas of your body that they cause in your mouth. If P. gingivalis is allowed near your heart, its survival tactics can trigger unchecked inflammation that can lead to various inflammatory heart diseases. For instance, studies conducted by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine suggest that the presence of P. gingivalis infection significantly increases the risk of atherosclerosis, a disease of the arteries that often leads to heart attack and failure.

Protect Your Oral & Systemic Health with Your Allen Periodontist

Aside from the Boston University School of Medicine research, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) states that several studies have highlighted an association between gum disease and heart disease. To learn about the dangers of periodontal disease, or to seek treatment for your dental health issues, schedule an appointment with your Allen periodontist by calling (972) 390-9944 today. Located in the 75013 area, we proudly welcome patients from Allen, Plano, Richardson, McKinney, Frisco, Fairview, Murphy, Wylie, Lewisville, Carrolton, and surrounding communities.