These diseases span a very long list and we will list a few. According to the Cleveland Clinic, gum disease-causing bacteria enters the bloodstream, leading to inflammation and higher chances of heart disease. In fact, Harvard Medical School backs this up: You may be two or three times more likely to have a heart attack—or another serious cardiovascular event—if you have gum disease. A major study from the NIH also found that these bacteria are also associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, gum disease has been linked to diabetes, strokes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and premature births or low-birth-weight babies.
The links and mechanisms by which the bacteria in your mouth invade, attack and inflame other systems in your body is the bleeding edge of medical science. More is being learned about this everyday thanks to ongoing research around the world. It is now very clear that your gums are not detached from the rest of your body, and chronic bacterial infections here can cause and feed illnesses we once thought were completely unrelated.
But there is good news! Research shows that reversing gum disease reduces the markers for systemic inflammation and improves functionality of the kidneys and arteries. While there is still plenty that we’re learning and discovering about inflammation and gum disease, one thing is already certain and scientifically proven: You should take care of your gums.
Gum disease can easily be prevented or reversed before it’s too late—Dr. Derek wrote a great post explaining how, from a dentist’s perspective. Click here to read that blog post.
Brush them, floss them, massage them, and get them professionally checked by your dentist or dental hygienist regularly! Your heart, kidneys, brain, gut, joints, and future children will thank you!