The Impact Gum Disease Has on Your General Health

Periodontal disease can not only undermine the beauty and health of your smile, but your overall health, as well. Studies have linked gum disease to serious concerns such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, poor pregnancy outcomes, and other health conditions. At the Charleston Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry, Dr. John F. Rink and his team in Charleston, SC, provide preventative treatments and offer advice on the effects of gum disease.

How Does Gum Disease Affect the Body?

Although many see the mouth as an isolated ecosystem of the body, it is an integral part of the entire immune system. When a patient suffers from periodontal disease, the bacterial imbalance in the mouth can affect the rest of the system. Harmful bacteria can easily travel to other areas of your body via the bloodstream. The body will trigger inflammation as part of its immune response, but this can often leave you vulnerable to a host of other diseases, as well.

Furthermore, because the mouth is exposed to the bacteria in your environment on a regular basis, it is particularly susceptible to infection. Consequently, patients must stay on top of their oral health care routine to keep gum disease at bay.

Diagram of tooth demonstrating the relationship between the tooth roots and surrounding tissue.
If bacteria reach the pulp within the tooth, they can access the rest of the body via the bloodstream. 

Common Conditions Associated with Gum Disease

Based on recent studies and research, periodontal disease is often associated with general health conditions such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Osteoporosis
  • Kidney disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cancer

While gum disease does not always lead to these other conditions, it is important to be aware of the connection and to stay on top of your oral health care.

The Key is Prevention

To prevent disease-causing bacteria and inflammation from damaging your overall health, Dr. Rink and his team offer comprehensive treatment plans and services to combat gum disease before it begins. By staying consistent in your oral hygiene habits and scheduling regular dental exams and professional cleanings, you can create an environment in your mouth that makes it difficult for bacteria to thrive.

The sooner we can identify early symptoms, the more likely we are to eliminate disease.

During your regular exams, we will look for any signs of periodontal disease. If we find any potential causes for concern, we may recommend changes in your dental hygiene routine or design a treatment tailored to your specific needs. The sooner we can identify early symptoms, the more likely we are to eliminate disease before it reaches the bloodstream and spreads.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to treatments and services offered at our practice, patients can also take a number of measures in their day to day life that minimize the risk of gum disease. Patients can lay the foundation for improved health with a mineral-rich diet that reduces vegetable oils but is supplemented with quality fats. We also recommend that patients get enough sleep, address stress, and avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking.

Stay Protected Against Periodontal Disease

To minimize your risk of serious oral health complications, Dr. Rink and our team can provide you with preventative treatments to help you achieve optimal oral health. To learn more about the connection between gum disease and general overall health, please send us a message or give us a call at (843) 628-0420.

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Charleston Office

33 Gamecock Ave
Bldg C
Charleston, SC 29407

Open Today 8:30am - 5:00pm