Gum Disease and Overall Health
Gum Disease and the Immune System
Health professionals understand that an infection, wherever it’s found in the body, stresses the immune system. It is also obvious that the more serious the infection and the longer it persists, the more the immune system is affected. A cut finger will not stress the immune system as much as a lung infection, or kidney infection. Thus, not all infections are created equally and one of the worst infections the body has to deal with is the infection that involves the gums and underlying bone.
Gum/periodontal infections can have a devastating affect on the immune system. The type of infection that is found in moderate to advanced gum disease not only involves numerous and very toxic bacteria but these organisms have constant and direct access to the blood stream and indirectly the lungs. Another factor that makes this type of infection so damaging to the immune system is that it has access to the blood and lungs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for as long as the infection is present.
Relationship between the Immune System and Gum Disease
At some point, the immune system can become so compromised that its ability to resist additional infections and toxins could be seriously diminished. A weakened immune system will put the various body systems at risk and create a domino effect in regard to infections. You are already aware of the numerous diseases that are associated with gum disease and now you know that relationship is directly, or indirectly, related to the stress that gum disease places on the immune system.
Likewise, a weakened immune system can make it more difficult to prevent and treat gum disease. This creates a Catch-22 situation, where gum disease can weaken the immune system, which makes the body more vulnerable to infections and diseases, which in turn further weakens the immune system; ultimately making it more difficult to treat gum disease. Whew!
But I think you get the picture, gum disease is a serious health issue and it should be treated as you would any other serious health issue. In order to help you change your thinking, I suggest that you no longer even think of this infection in relationship to your mouth, but as a disease of your body.
Immune System and Dental Disease
Remember, the immune system has its limits and will not be able to simultaneously fight too many battles without losing the war against infection and disease. If you are presently dealing with any of the diseases related to gum disease, or any other health problems that stress the immune system, you must do all you can to free yourself of gum disease. I also suggest that you let your health professional know that you have gum disease and the extent of the infection. I’m sure he or she would want to know why the recommended treatment(s) for other health problems you are experiencing have not been as successful as hoped for.
This section would not be complete without mentioning AIDS and its relationship to gum disease. All diseases stress the immune system but none so much as AIDS. Those with AIDS do not die of AIDS but of diseases that are the result of a failed immune system, such as pneumonia and kidney failure. This is not the place to do a paper on AIDS but if you are now suffering from this health issue, or know of someone who is, you absolutely cannot afford to let gum disease go untreated.
It’s time to remind you that my website is not just about telling you how destructive gum disease is to your health, but that it also offers solutions and, more importantly, hope. To learn how to heal gum disease and prevent it from returning I encourage you to read Healthy Teeth - Health Body: How to Improve Your Oral and Overall Health.