Gum disease, or periodontal disease, affects millions of people worldwide. In some cases, symptoms can be very minor, presenting at slight gum swelling or bleeding when flossing. In other cases, patients may experience severe pain and discomfort. Either way, it is important to contact the dentist at the very first signs of gum disease, because studies show that ignoring these findings can cause major pathology for years to come. There have been studies which prove a relationship between periodontal disease and cardiac complications.
You may ask yourself, how can my mouth and my heart have such a direct relationship? It is important to consider the reasons behind cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis affects the walls of the arteries, making them thicker and unable to pass blood and materials through as the body needs. This phenomenon is most commonly caused by arterial wall damage and inflammation. In turn, fat deposits become stuck to these walls and plaque begins to form.
Next, you may wonder, how do the gums relate to this? When the gums become inflamed and begin to bleed, this allows a pathway for infection and bacteria to be created within the mouth. These undesirable components have now entered your bloodstream and will likely be carried to different parts of the body, especially the cardiovascular system. As this bacterial matter accumulates, this causes a decrease in the elasticity of the arteries, making it more difficult to efficiently pump blood to the organs. This often causes blood clots to form, and the possibility of a stroke of heart attack increases.
So don’t ignore those signs and symptoms of gum disease. Any bleeding, swelling, feelings of tenderness (even while brushing), unpleasant breath, canker sores or development of an under or overbite can all be messages your body is sending you to visit your dentist. Call Dr. Feinberg at the San Diego Dental Center today to schedule your periodontal evaluation, before your condition causes any further complications. (619) 462-8550
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