If you do not often brush your teeth and floss to keep your teeth clean, plaque can pile up along the gum line and create an environment that accumulates more bacteria in the space between your teeth and your gums. This gum infection is called gingivitis. If left unchecked, gingivitis can cause more serious gum infections, known as periodontitis. The most serious form of gum infection is called acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, also known as Mizoguchi.
The bacteria in your mouth usually does not get into your blood. However, invasive dental treatments – and sometimes even just regular brushing and flossing if you have gum disease – can provide these microbes access to the harbor. Drugs or treatments that reduce saliva flow and antibiotics that destroy the normal balance of oral bacteria may also endanger the normal defense of the mouth and allow these bacteria to enter the blood stream.
If you have a healthy immune system, the presence of oral bacteria in the blood does not cause any problems. Your immune system will soon be immune to prevent infection. However, if your immune system is impaired, for example due to illness or cancer treatment, oral bacteria (bacteremia) in the blood can cause you to become infected in another part of your body. Infective endocarditis is an example of this phenomenon caused by an infectious endocarditis in which oral bacteria enter the bloodstream and stick to the diseased heart valve.
Plaque as a common condition of reason?
Long-term gum infections can eventually lead to the loss of your teeth. But the consequences may not end there. Recent research shows that oral infections (mainly gum infections) may be associated with poorly controlled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and preterm birth. More research is needed to determine whether oral infections actually cause these diseases, including:
Poorly controlled diabetes. If you have diabetes, your gum disease risk increases. However, chronic periodontal disease can actually make diabetes more difficult to control. Infection can lead to insulin resistance, thereby disrupting glycemic control.
Cardiovascular diseases. Stomatitis (gingivitis) due to bacteria can also play a role in blocked arteries and blood clots. It seems that bacteria in the mouth can cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. This inflammation may be the basis for the development of atherosclerotic plaques, which may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Some studies show that people with gum infections also have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The more serious infection, the greater the risk. Gum disease and tooth loss can lead to carotid plaques. In one study, 46% of participants who lost 9 teeth had carotid plaque; in those who lost 10 or more teeth, 60% had such a plaque.
Premature delivery. Serious gum disease may increase the risk of premature delivery and lead to infant underweight. In fact, National Dental and Craniofacial Institute estimates that up to 18% of premature babies born in the United States and low birth weight infants each year may be attributed to oral infections. The theory is that oral bacteria release toxins that reach the placenta through the mother’s blood and interfere with the growth and development of the fetus. In the meantime, oral infections cause maternal premature labor-induced substances that can trigger premature delivery and childbirth.
Dental care and diabetes: The importance of a healthy mouth
A convincing good habit case
If you do not have enough reason to take care of your mouth, teeth and gums, the relationship between your oral health and your overall health is even more important. Determined to practice oral hygiene every day. You are investing in your overall health, not only now, but also for the future.