If you are like most adults, you probably pay a lot of attention to your teeth but not enough to your gums. While sparkling teeth are a good indicator of a healthy mouth, the health of your gums is also important and may be neglected even if you brush and floss regularly. In addition to being unsightly, gum recession can lead to periodontal disease, which may cause other health problems.
Receding gums can cause bacteria to enter the mouth and cause gum disease. If that bacteria then manages to enter your bloodstream, they can attach to the fatty deposits in the blood vessels around your heart. Eventually, clots could form and lead to heart disease, an all-encompassing term that includes coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and heart attack.
In addition to heart disease, gum disease can also mean a higher risk of having a stroke. In fact, research shows that patients who have had an ischemic stroke often also had oral infections. Like heart disease, stroke can occur when the bacteria from your gums enters your bloodstream.
People who suffer from periodontal disease may be at a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Commonly referred to as RA, this type of arthritis occurs when your immune system begins attacking your joint linings. It is typically symmetrical, affecting both knees, wrists, hands or other body parts. RA is also linked to problems with the skin, lungs, nerves, eyes and heart.
In addition to the above health problems, people who suffer from gum disease may also suffer from dementia and diabetes. Pregnant women may give birth to their babies prematurely. For this reason, it is very important to see a periodontist such as our own Dr. Tom McCawley or Dr. Mark McCawley if you suspect you are suffering from gum recession in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. By treating the problem now, you are more likely to avoid periodontal disease and the resulting health problems.