Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is inflammation around the tooth caused by an infection of the tissues that surround the tooth. Some of the symptoms are red, swollen gums that bleed easily, and gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Gum disease can also be a warning sign that a person is experiencing other, even more serious, health issues, one of which is type 2 diabetes. A recent study published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care found that approximately half of the patients in an Amsterdam Dental Clinic with any degree of periodontitis had blood sugar tests (A1C tests) indicating they had pre-diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is a condition that can lead to full-blown diabetes. The researchers found that the A1C values were highest in patients who had the most severe form of gum disease.
Research has shown that periodontal health is also linked to other diseases, including heart disease and stroke. Researchers believe that inflammation caused by gum disease may be responsible for the association. One study found that people who had an acute stroke were more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in a control group.
Additional research has suggested a link between gum disease and osteoporosis, respiratory disease, some forms of cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease.
The bottom line? Don’t ignore signs of gum disease:
- Bleeding gyms
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persisten bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- Loose or separating permanent teeth
- Changes in your bit
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures
If you are experiencing these or any other dental problems, please contact Enlighten Dental Care today!