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Gum disease is the most common dental problem

You’re not alone if you have gum disease. Also called gingivitis, the Canadian Dental Association estimates that 7 out of every 10 Canadians will develop gum disease during their lives. Many don’t even realize they are affected because the beginning symptoms are subtle, but leaving gum disease unchecked can lead to other major health concerns.

The early stages of gum disease are referred to as gingivitis. The plaque on your teeth harbours bacteria, which causes inflammation. If the bacteria grow and lead to periodontal disease, small pockets form underneath the teeth and are prone to infection. The bone and tissue keeping teeth attached to your mouth begin to break down from the infection. Eventually, this can lead to tooth loss.

How gum disease is connected to heart disease and diabetes

The American Academy of Periodontology reports that people with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease than those who don’t, though an exact correlation hasn’t been defined. There are also some studies that suggest gum disease could be a risk factor for strokes.

If you are diabetic with poor control of your blood sugar, you are more prone to gum disease. You are also more likely to lose teeth than others with gum disease. Children diagnosed with IDDM (Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) are more at risk as well.

Get more information about the relationship between dental health and diabetesheart disease, and pregnancy.

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