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You may be aware of the fact that gum disease can cause bad breath, loose teeth, and even damage to your jawbone. But were you aware of the fact that gum disease can have ramifications beyond your mouth? Your oral health can impact your overall health to a much greater degree than you may have thought.

Gum disease is caused by an accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth. This causes your gums to swell and allow more plaque to build up below the gumline where your toothbrush can’t reach it. This will let bacteria enter your body and create an infection.

If you do not treat your gum disease, you may continue to inhale the bacteria over a period of years. Doing so could lead to infections of your respiratory tract and your lungs, One result of that infection could be pneumonia. The bacteria may enter your bloodstream causing hardening of your arteries and inflammation of your heart valves, increasing your risk of a stroke or a heart attack. Gum disease may make it harder to control your blood sugar levels and worsen the symptoms of diabetes. Finally, if the infection from your gum disease enters your nervous system, you could suffer dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease.

Your first line of defense against gum disease is your oral hygiene regimen. You should brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss once a day. You should also see your dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings and examinations.

The symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums, loose teeth and chronic bad breath. If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, you should talk to our dentist, Dr. Henry Danziger about gum disease. If you would like to make an appointment at Henry K. Danziger DDS in Naugatuck, Connecticut, call 203.729.0563 today.