The Domino Effect of Gum Disease

Many, many times we hear patients say, “My gums always bleed, that’s normal for me”. It may be something frequently occurring for some, but is it healthy?

The journey of oral bacteria and how it affects our whole body is an amazing one. Oral bacteria, plaque, starts so innocently as a little fuzzy coating on our teeth. There are hundreds of types of bacteria that can form in the mouth, most aiding in digestion and maintaining a healthy balance of the mouth.

There are less than 30 bacteria types that are the real trouble makers. If you diligently remove bacteria from your teeth daily, that’s the end of the story. Health is intact. For those bacteria left undisturbed/uncleansed, you will be amazed to know what they are capable of. It’s far beyond the worries of bad breath!

First, the bacteria invade the top layers of the gums, causing gum infection. This can be visible as red puffy gums although, sometimes it is not visible and found hidden in between the teeth. If you were to put a thermometer under an inflamed gum line, it would be running a fever. The infection has begun. As the bacterial infection deepens, it enters the bloodstream through the weakened gums and can trigger systemic inflammation. The inflammation and bacteria challenge and trigger the liver to become active, releasing proteins (C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and interleukin 6). This bacteria and inflammation reaction may be linked to atherosclerosis conditions such as stroke.

This body-wide awareness of the inflammation now starts to alter our body’s natural insulin process causing hyperglycemia. The domino effect continues as it leads to abnormalities in cholesterol and high blood pressure. All from a little fuzzy surface on your tooth. Who would have thought!
If you notice bleeding of your gums, take action. Our arms and legs don’t bleed when we clean up; neither should our gums.