It’s important to recognize that our overall health plays a significant role in our susceptibility to periodontal disease. Your health history, including that of your parents, is a tool you can use to identify potential periodontal risk factors and act early before damage is done. For example, if you know you are prone to inflammation, there are preventive measures you can take to ensure your oral health remains stable. In this blog, our dental office in Houston, TX, explores a few (but not all) conditions that make one more susceptible to gum infections.
Understanding Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the gums, ligaments, and bones supporting the teeth. It is caused by bacterial plaque build-up on the teeth and gums, leading to infection and inflammation. While poor oral hygiene is a prominent risk factor, certain health conditions can increase the likelihood of developing this gingival infection. If you have any inflammatory health conditions, periodontal disease could be threatening your oral health.
Diabetes and gum disease have a very strong relationship. Individuals with poorly controlled diabetes most likely have periodontal disease. Diabetes diminishes the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels, making it easier for bacteria to thrive in the mouth. Conversely, periodontal disease can also make it more challenging to control blood sugar levels, creating a vicious cycle of disease progression. Not to mention, diabetics have issues with healing which can make it harder to control gum infections.
Immune Disorders and Hormonal Changes
Conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS or autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, can increase susceptibility to periodontal disease. The compromised immune response lowers the body’s ability to fight off infection and may lead to more severe and aggressive forms of gum disease.
Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, can make gum tissue more sensitive and prone to inflammation. Increased blood flow and hormonal shifts can impact the body’s response to bacteria, making women more susceptible to gum disease during these stages of life.
If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, it’s important to control your oral inflammation and bacteria levels. Research suggests a link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular health. While the exact relationship is still being explored, studies have shown that inflammation and bacterial infections from the mouth can contribute to the development or worsening of heart conditions.
Schedule Your Evaluation Today
Understanding these connections allows us to approach dental care in a more preventive manner, addressing both oral hygiene habits and overall health is vital. If you have a health condition that puts you at higher risk, it’s essential to work closely with both your dentist and healthcare provider to develop a comprehensive care plan for optimal oral health. For more information on how we proactively address oral health, give us a call at MMC Dental in Houston, TX at (713)926-8896!