Health Issues That Are Related To The State Of Your Gums

Posted on: 4 August 2021

Periodontal disease is caused by the inflammation of the gingival tissues. Harmful bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acidic waste that irritates the gums. The bacteria may also invade the gum tissues, causing an infection. As periodontal disease progresses, increasingly large pockets, or spaces, form between the gums and the teeth. These pockets grant the oral bacteria access to the roots of the teeth and to the jawbone.

The microbes can cause the recession of the gums and the loss of bone tissue. Additionally, the bacteria can migrate into the bloodstream, infecting other areas of the body. As a result, periodontal disease is associated with multiple systemic conditions. Here are a few health issues that are related to the state of your gums.


Diabetes and periodontal disease are codependent conditions. The inflammation from gum disease can make it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. Additionally, people with high blood sugar levels may experience an increase in the number of bacteria in the mouth. The excess sugar feeds the bacteria and encourages their reproduction. As bacterial counts elevate in the oral cavity, larger amounts of acid are released. In turn, the state of the gums may deteriorate.

To help lessen the detrimental effects of the cyclic relationship between diabetes and gum disease, people with diabetes should follow their doctor's recommendations to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Additionally, patients who display signs of gum disease, such as bleeding, reddened, or puffy gums, should exercise meticulous dental hygiene.

Heart Problems

As bacteria enter the bloodstream, they can inflame the blood vessels and the heart muscle. This inflammation can negatively affect the cardiovascular system overall, increasing the likelihood of strokes, clogged arteries, and heart disease.

Preterm Births

The hormones of pregnancy can make the gingival tissues more susceptible to inflammation. If the gum disease progresses, it can increase the pregnant woman's chance of going into labor early. The resulting preterm birth may jeopardize the health of both mother and child. Periodontal disease has also been associated with a low birth rate weight.

Pregnant women should brush and floss daily to remove plaque and oral bacteria. Nevertheless, due to the sensitivity of the gums, caution should be used to avoid applying excessive brushing force to the tissues. Additionally, only a soft bristle toothbrush should be used.

To learn more about periodontal disease and its effects on the body, schedule a consultation with a periodontist in your local area.