Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease in tissues that support the teeth, affecting 50 percent of people worldwide. Gum disease can range from mild gingivitis in which bleeding gums are the primary symptom to aggressive disease that leads to rapid tissue damage and bone loss. In addition, gum disease can impact the immune system, which can result in other serious health problems. Dr. Jean-Claude Kharmouche, a renowned periodontist in Leesburg, VA, says the best way to prevent the cascading health effects of gum disease is early treatment.
Effects of Gum Inflammation on Overall Health
When bacteria remain in the mouth unchecked, plaque can form, causing inflammation and periodontitis. Research links gum disease and tooth loss to a variety of chronic diseases and conditions. When periodontal disease is left untreated, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream. This can trigger an immune response and increased levels of C-reactive protein, a key biomarker of inflammation that can affect the entire body. Sustained high levels are associated with a heightened risk of heart attacks.
Several studies suggest a similar immune response occurs in pregnant women with periodontal disease, thereby impacting the immune system of the unborn infant. This detrimental effect has been linked to an increased risk of being born with cerebral palsy. Furthermore, pregnant women with gingivitis are more likely to deliver premature or low-birth-weight babies than expectant mothers with healthy gums.
The Importance of Good Oral Care and Early Gum Disease Treatment
Regular brushing, flossing, and professional teeth cleaning is the best way to fend off bad oral bacteria and periodontitis. When identified and treated early, the likelihood of keeping your natural teeth is greater. Early intervention also allows your immune system to focus on other parts of your body that need attention. Periodontists undergo extensive training focused solely on the gums, providing the advantage of more precise and complex treatments than a general dentist.
Whether you’re suffering from bleeding gums, loose teeth, or late-stage gum disease, Dr. Kharmouche and his fellow periodontists Dr. Justin Hardison, Dr. Fadi Hasan, and Dr. Alka Panwar have vast expertise providing sophisticated treatments.
Make an appointment today with one of the experienced periodontists at Nova Perio Specialists in Leesburg, VA, either online or by calling (571) 918-9634.