Our mouth is literally a breeding ground for good and harmful microbial bacteria. Our saliva contains countless bacterium and produces enzymes which breaks down the food and prepares it for digestion. When destructive bacteria becomes out of control, it disrupts the balance of our oral health and this is where our dental problems all begin.
Plaque is an invisible sticky film produced by minute food particles missed while brushing and flossing. In time, a buildup will occur surrounding the teeth and at the gum line. Destructive bacteria feeds on this plaque and secretes toxins. It is this toxin which can cause the gums to be infected.
Years ago, gum disease was considered a localized disease. Today, we know that it is a major contributing factor in lowering our immune system and the ongoing infection caused by periodontal disease can travel through the bloodstream making existing health conditions worse.
Those who suffer from Diabetes, knows the importance of maintaining their blood sugar level. Infection caused by periodontal disease can raise blood glucose levels. Approximately 95% of Americans with Diabetes also have gum disease due in part to an increased susceptibility to infections. Gum disease, not only is a discomfort and risk factor for those with Diabetes, but also can make Diabetes worse.
Eliminating periodontal disease should be a priority for those who have cardiovascular disease. Research studies have found a link between bacterial dental plaque and the inflammation of blood vessel walls. There are certain proteins within the blood that acts as a signal for inflammatory conditions. Studies found that there are high levels of c-reactive protein found in heart patients who have periodontal disease. Inflammation of arterial blood vessels can lead to blood clots.
Infectious bacteria from gum disease has also been found in the airways of patients who suffer from respiratory illness. It is quite apparent that gum disease can be a gateway to many health conditions.
Heredity plays a major factor in gum disease. If you have a family history of periodontal disease, this puts you at high risk! Gum disease does not happen overnight. It can take a period of time before it becomes noticeable. Prevention is the best medicine. This can be done with the help of your dentist or through alternative medicine. Remember – gum disease is not a permanent condition, it can be reversed. There is much we can do for ourselves to keep this insidious disease from playing havoc with our lives.