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Most people are aware that gum disease can lead to loose and lost teeth, receding gums and bad breath. A few more may understand that problems with your jaw can be a result of gum disease as well. But gum disease has implications beyond your mouth and they can be serious.

Gum disease starts with the accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth. Your gums swell in response to that irritation, and that allows the plaque to work its way below your gumline, which in turn allows bacteria to enter your system.

Over time, you may inhale a lot of bacteria from your gum disease, which can cause respiratory infections. If you live with diabetes, you are at a higher risk of gum disease, and gum disease can make it more difficult for you to control your blood sugar levels, and your diabetes systems can become worse. If the infection enters your bloodstream, the walls of your arteries can harden and collect plaque, and the walls of your heart valves could swell. These conditions place you at risk for a stroke or a heart attack.  Finally, if the bacteria enter your nervous system, you could develop dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease.

While gum disease can have a serious impact on your life, you aren’t helpless against it. You should brush at least twice a day for two minutes at a time with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss at least once a day. Don’t forget to see your dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings and exams. Your dentist can check you for gum disease and can remove the plaque and tartar that cause it.

If it is time for your regular exam, our dentist, Dr. Sid Tucker will be happy to see you. If you live in the Bardonia, New York area and would like to make an appointment at Hudson Valley Periodontics and Implantology call 845-623-6666 today. We’ll get you started on the road to a healthy smile.