The CDC published a study that showed nearly half of adult Americans have periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Gum disease is a serious infection that can damage your gums or jaw. This risk of damage isn't the only reason you need to prevent gum disease, there are a variety of other ailments that can result from this common problem.
Blood Sugar Control
Gum disease can affect how your body handles blood sugar related problems. One possible result is diabetes. The association between diabetes and gum disease is still being studied, but there are clear connections between the two. Prolonged gum disease can disrupt your body's control over your blood sugar. In addition, diabetes lowers the body's immune system and can lead to more infections.
Possible Memory Loss
Some medical experts who have studied a possible connection between dementia and gum disease believe that oral bacteria may spread to the brain through certain cranial nerves. Studies are ongoing to determine if this relationship contributes to the kind of plaque that has been linked to Alzheimer's.
The Journal of Periodontology has done studies connecting gum disease and certain respiratory infections. These infections include COPD and pneumonia. Breathing bacteria from your mouth into your lungs has been put forth as a possible explanation for the increased risk of these infections.
Fertility Impact in Women
Having gum disease can add two months to their pregnancy for women trying to conceive a child. An Australian study found that women with gum disease took two months longer to conceive than those without. Another disturbing fact was that advanced gum disease may increase the odds of having a miscarriage.
You can help protect your general health by protecting your teeth and gums. When you prevent gum disease, you may also decrease your risk of certain other ailments, like diabetes, pneumonia and decreased fertility. Call Dr. Marco Cueva at his office in Allen, TX today if you think you might be experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease.