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Most people understand that gum disease can lead to dental problems, including lost teeth, bad breath, and problems with the jaw. However, other issues have been linked to gum disease that can implications far beyond your mouth. There are many factors that contribute to gum disease. Tobacco use and some medications and medical conditions can be causes. The biggest cause of gum disease is the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. The plaque will cause your gums to swell, which will allow plaque to accumulate below the gumline, and admit bacteria.

There is a chance that if you continue to inhale the bacteria from gum disease over time, you could develop a respiratory infection. If the bacteria enters your bloodstream, it could lead to a hardening of your arteries, a buildup of plaque on your arterial walls, and an inflammation of the walls of your heart valves. This increases your chance of a stroke or a heart attack. Should the bacteria find its way into your nervous system, you run the risk of developing dementia, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.  If you live with diabetes, gum disease will make it more difficult for you to control your blood sugar levels.

If you do develop gum disease, your dentist may suggest that you brush and floss more effectively, or change your habits, which might include quitting tobacco. You may need a deep cleaning of your teeth, including your roots. In some cases, medication or surgery may be necessary. Brushing twice a day, flossing before bed and seeing your dentist for your routine cleanings and exams will go a long way to fighting gum disease.

If you have gums that bleed when you brush or floss, or if they are swollen, tender or red, it’s time to see our dentist, Dr. Daniel and Daria Royzman. To make an appointment at D & D Periodontal Associates, P.C. in New York, New York, call 212-759-7763 today. Let’s get you back on the road to a healthy mouth!