Health Effects Of Gum Disease And How To Prevent The Disease

Posted on: 24 May 2016

Gum disease is a common oral health problem in the United States. In fact, one out of two American adults aged 30 or more are diagnosed with this oral health disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It occurs when plaque builds up underneath your gums and results in red, swollen and bleeding gums. If gum disease isn't treated correctly, it can lead to other health problems. Here are some of the health effects caused by gum disease:

Heart Disease

Believe it or not, gum disease can increase your risk of heart problems. If your gums are full of plaque, the bacteria can travel to your bloodstream and harden your arteries, making it difficult for blood to get to your heart. If you ignore gum disease symptoms too long, you could be in danger of having a heart attack.

Premature Birth

Gum disease can also make you more likely to deliver a premature baby. If you have bacteria in your gums, it may tell your immune system to deliver the baby right now. Because the increased hormones during pregnancy can make you very susceptible to developing gum disease, it is especially important to take good care of your oral health. Remember to floss between your teeth thoroughly every day and visit your dentist regularly for checkups.


If you have gum disease, you may have a more difficult time managing diabetes. This oral health disease can increase your blood sugar and put you at risk of complications.

How Do You Prevent Gum Disease?

There are several treatments for gum disease, but it's best to prevent it in the first place. Here are some helpful tips for lowering your risk of developing this oral health condition:

Don't Skimp on Flossing: It can be difficult to remember to floss your teeth every day, but you should get in the habit of doing it. Brushing alone will not remove all the plaque stuck between your teeth. Flossing at the same time every day, such as in the morning, may help you remember to do it. Be careful not to snap your floss, as it can irritate your gums.

Use a Tongue Scraper: Bacteria can accumulate on your tongue and eventually transfer to your gums. That is why you should clean your tongue every day with a tongue scraper. This device will gently remove food particles and bacteria from your tongue, leaving it clean and healthy. 

Stop Smoking: Tobacco is very bad for your gums, so you should try to quit the habit. Smoking can suppress your immune system, making it more difficult to fight off gum infections. Quitting smoking isn't an easy thing to do, so don't hesitate to ask your doctor for help.

Include Vitamin C in Your Diet: Vitamin C is known for boosting the immune system, so it can help prevent bacteria from getting to your gums. You can get plenty of this vitamin from kiwis, oranges, papayas and strawberries.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum: Having a piece of sugar-free gum can also reduce your risk of developing gum disease. This gum increases saliva production in your mouth, which helps wash away food particles from your gums. Remember to chew a piece of sugar-free gum after every meal.

Buy an Electric Toothbrush: If you haven't upgraded to an electric toothbrush yet, it may be time to do it right now. This toothbrush is more effective at removing plaque underneath your gums and is very gentle.

If you start taking better care of your oral health, you will be less likely to get diagnosed with gum disease in the future. For more information, talk to your family dentist.