Bacterial Infection Can Spread From Gums to Body

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The perils of leaving a gum disease untreated cannot be underestimated. From heart disease to premature births and from diabetes to osteoporosis, the consequent health complications of not treating gum disease are expansive. But how does a small infection in your gum cause a heart-stopping blood clot?

According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), in the case of gum disease, bacteria break down the tissues around the tooth. This empty space becomes a crevice where periodontal bacteria can grow and flourish. The gums then become inflamed and bleed in an effort to fight off the infection. Yet as the infection produces more swelling and the space between the gum and teeth widens, the periodontal bacteria has an opportunity to enter into the bloodstream as the gums bleed. These bacteria can then cause inflammation in the blood stream and arteries and blood clots, some of the telltale markers of heart disease.

For those who have diabetes and a gum infection, the bacteria make its way into the bloodstream via brushing, flossing or bleeding gums. The bacteria are believed to interact with the blood making it harder to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. This same bacteria present in pregnant women who have a gum infection can induce pregnancy and stimulate premature labor.

Since the bacteria present in gum infections is not just localized to an inflamed gum, it is important for all individuals, particularly high risk groups like pregnant women, those with diabetes and those who are at risk for heart disease to treat gum disease promptly and to maintain regular dental appointments in order to prevent further health complications.

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Source by Allison Clarke