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Most people know that gum disease can cause bad breath, receding gums and even lost teeth. And they may even be aware that the disease can cause problems for their jaws. But gum disease can also have a serious effect on other parts of your body, which is why you should be aware of its symptoms, and see your dentist on a regular basis.

The primary cause of gum disease is the accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth. Your gums swell as a reaction to this plaque, which allows more plaque to work its way below the gum line. This, in turn, permits the bacteria in its mouth to enter your system.

If you have diabetes, gum disease will make it more difficult for you to control your blood sugar levels, and in turn, your symptoms could become worse. If you live with diabetes, you should make sure that you discuss how the disease can affect your oral health. If you inhale the bacteria from your gum disease for an extended period of time, you can develop a respiratory infection, which could include pneumonia. The bacteria from your gum disease could enter your bloodstream. This can lead to hardening of the arteries, and a buildup of plaque on the walls of your arteries. The lining of your heart may become inflamed as well. The overall effect of gum disease on your cardiovascular system could be an increased risk of a stroke or heart attack.  There is a chance that the bacteria can enter your nervous system, and this could cause dementia, or even lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

There are things you can do to prevent or address gum disease. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. You should also see your dentist for your routine cleanings and exams. Not only will your dentist remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth, but he can also check for signs of gum disease. If you are experiencing tender, or swollen gums, or gums that bleed when you brush or floss, then you should call Mathew Berg DDS in El Paso, Texas, at 915-591-5333 to schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Mathew Berg.