The Mouth-Body Connection: How Oral Health Affects Overall Health

Recent studies show strong correlations between gum disease and other serious health conditions. These problems range from heart disease to difficult pregnancies. Bruce Gopin, DDS, MS, in El Paso, TX, performs a diverse range of periodontal treatments, and he can create a unique treatment plan for you. With simple procedures such as scaling and root planing, he can address mild to moderate gum disease. He can also treat more severe cases with several types of surgery. We invite you to learn more about the mouth-body connection and why periodontal care matters.

Gum Disease and Your Overall Health

Gum disease occurs when bacteria cause irritation in your gums. Bacteria reproduce very quickly, spreading from one part of the body to another. Oral bacteria, the fundamental cause of gum disease, are no exception. When microbes first start to accumulate, they will rest along your gum line. There, they will cause mild inflammation. Soon, however, they can move deeper into your soft tissues. If left untreated, eventually the bacteria can enter your bloodstream, which is why gum disease is linked to many other health conditions.

gum disease, mouth-body connection

Bacteria from your gum line can enter your bloodstream, resulting in an increased risk of many serious health conditions. 

The connection between gum disease and cardiovascular problems is particularly strong. In fact, if you have moderate to advanced gum disease, you are at a much higher risk for a heart attack. As bacteria enter your blood, they can attach to blood vessels, causing inflammation. Once your blood reaches your heart, the microbes can also attach to already damaged tissue. Sometimes, they can cause endocarditis, an infection in the lining of your heart.

Along with heart disease, gum disease is associated with several other problems. These include osteoporosis, diabetes, and dementia. Scientists are still researching the exact correlation between the conditions.

The connection between gum disease and cardiovascular problems is particularly strong. In fact, if you have moderate to advanced gum disease, you are at a much higher risk for a heart attack.

Gum Disease and Pregnancy

Studies also show that women with gum disease are more likely to deliver prematurely, or give birth to low birth weight babies. Meanwhile, these infants can face significant health battles. Premature babies and those who weigh less than 5.5 lbs at birth may suffer from:

  • Delayed motor skills
  • Learning disabilities
  • Poor vision
  • Hearing loss
  • Feeding aversion
  • Digestive conditions

Scientists are not certain why gum disease affects pregnant women in these ways. It may be that bacteria travel to the uterus. It could also be that the body’s attempts to combat microbes induces labor. Whatever the cause, it is vital that expectant mothers maintain good oral health, especially since hormonal changes can lead to gum disease.

Integrative Dentistry to Protect Your Systemic Wellness

Through his comprehensive and compassionate care, Dr. Gopin can treat gum disease in all its stages. If you have experienced any symptoms of gum disease, you should schedule an appointment right away. In the early stages, the doctor can usually treat the condition with a simple and minimally invasive deep cleaning. Even if your gum disease is already advanced, his state-of-the-art treatments can eradicate bacteria and safeguard your overall health. These procedures include pocket reduction, soft tissue grafting, and even bone grafting.

A dental visit can also lead to a faster diagnosis of other health conditions. If Dr. Gopin diagnoses gum disease, you can alert your regular doctor about this condition. Aware of your increased cardiovascular risks, he or she can test for related problems. When they team up in this way, Dr. Gopin and your physician can provide truly vital care.

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Gopin Today

Neglecting your oral health can have serious consequences. Contact our office online to schedule an appointment or call (915) 533-4608.

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