If you are one of the many Americans who is afflicted with periodontal disease, you probably think your biggest concern is tooth loss. While this is a valid concern which might reach fruition without good oral hygiene and preventive dental care, there are more reasons to worry about the presence of gum infection. Oral-systemic health is the concept that your dental health can affect your overall health. You may wonder how bacteria in your mouth could possibly survive traveling through the rest of your body. If you think about it, the potential journey of bacteria which originates in your mouth and ends up elsewhere makes a lot of sense.
Various germs can enter your gums, and then your body, through your salivary output. Crafty bacteria adhere to the microscopic water droplets which float around in the air you breathe. Each time you inhale, some of the droplets enter your lungs. The attached germs are then liable to be aspirated, leading to potential pulmonary infection, or even pneumonia. For the elderly, babies, or people with weak immune systems, these types of health conditions are particularly dangerous.
Once the bacteria which ignite gum disease enter your body, you are likely to have a systemic inflammatory response. This inflammation can contribute to (or complicate) certain dangerous health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart (more…)