As the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America, you could argue that gum disease’s effect on your oral health makes it one of the most ambitious known oral illnesses. While you might be correct, the damage that gum disease causes inside your mouth may only be a fraction of the destruction that it can wreak on your wellbeing. A growing body of research from across the globe supports the theory that the condition of your oral health can influence your risk factors for certain systemic complications, and gum disease is a major component of this oral-systemic theory. To help raise your awareness of the profound dangers of gum disease, your Austin dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen, explores how a disease in your mouth can affect the rest of your body.
The Devil’s in the Details
The key to gum disease’s influence lies in its inception. Though it can become a major problem, gum disease typically begins on a microbial level. On average, a healthy human mouth contains over 600 different kinds of bacteria. When they multiply and congregate, these germs form the sticky biofilm called plaque that coats your teeth and gums every once in a while.Among these germs are a few of particular interest for their ability to irritate your gum tissue. Porphyromonas gingivalis has a nasty tendency to bypass your immune system’s inflammatory attacks against harmful biological agents. The continued inflammation is one of the pillars of gum disease development and contributes to the destruction of your tooth’s supporting structures.
Spreading the Wealth
While inflammation is meant to help defeat illness, it is also a dominant risk factor for a frightening number of chronic diseases. For instance, most heart diseases involve some sort of cardiovascular blockage, which typically results from inflammation of the arteries, blood vessels, and other soft heart tissues. If the germs that cause inflammatory disease in your mouth enter your bloodstream through bleeding oral tissues, they can potentially wreak similar havoc throughout your body. Some studies have found that the presence of P. gingivalis infection can accelerate inflammatory atherosclerosis (an arterial disease) in mouse models, strengthening the theory that a clean mouth extends far beyond your pretty smile.
Protect Your Mouth and Body from Gum Disease in Austin
To learn more, or if your gums are inflamed and/or bleeding and you believe you may gum disease, speak with your Austin dentist as soon as possible. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Wicklen by calling 512-448-3131. Located in the 78704 area, we proudly serve the cities of Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, and all surrounding communities.