"The major health risks of gum disease"
Why gum disease is a threat to your
Just as skin prevents
bacteria from entering your body, healthy gum tissue acts
as a barrier, preventing bacteria from entering your
body. When bacteria destroy gum tissue, as the case in
gum disease, the barrier is no longer
Bacteria now have a direct route into your body!
Bacteria and their toxins enter damaged blood vessels that run
through your gums. Once inside these vessels, they travel
through your circulation where they are capable of causing more
severe health problems including:
Recent research has shown that mothers with periodontal disease
are seven times more likely to deliver preterm, low birth
weight infants. This finding reinforces well documented
observations that infections during pregnancy increase the risk
of premature births.
Genital and urinary tract infections, for instance,
dramatically increase a woman's chance of delivering a
premature infant. Like genital and urinary tract infections,
gum disease represents a bacterial infection of the body. A
woman considering pregnancy should visit her dentist to treat
gum disease before pregnancy starts.
Stroke and Heart Attacks:
An ever-growing body of research links advanced gum disease and
the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes. In studies
conducted in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden,
and Germany, researchers found that people with advanced gum
disease also had a 25% to 100% increased risk of suffering from
a heart attack than those without advanced gum disease. A
similar relationship exists between advanced gum disease and
the development of strokes.
Theories for the increased risk of heart attack and stroke
- Potential ability of certain bacteria to trigger the
clumping of platelets, forming blood clots. These blood
clots, in turn, could block arteries to the heart, leading
to a heart attack, or block arteries in the brain, leading
to a stroke.
Inflammatory molecules, produced to fight off the
bacterial invaders, over time, may begin to trigger
atherosclerosis - a hardening and narrowing of the
arteries that can trigger heart attacks and
Bacteria alone may damage the lining of the blood
vessels, an event which could also lead to
Next... We'll learn the simple things you can
do to completely prevent gum disease