Bacterial infections spread throughout the body, so it’s a little leap of logic to consider that an infection in your mouth might affect other parts of you. For many years, scientists believed that oral bacteria alone was the primary culprit in linking gum disease to other systemic diseases, but according to the American Academy of Periodontology, inflammation, which is also associated with infections, is worthy of particular attention.
woman pointing to her red, swollen gum line

Inflammation Heals

Yes, there are instances when inflammation is a good thing. Although it doesn’t usually feel good, it’s important because it lets you know when something is wrong. When you get injured, inflammation occurs as an automatic response to the injury. When you exercise, the body experiences tiny injuries throughout the muscles – that’s what causes your body to feel sore the next day. Inflammation is the body’s response to start repairing and rebuilding muscles. Inflammation is essential for healing.

When the body experiences an injury of some sort, inflammation attracts immune system cells from the blood which concentrate to the injury area where they swell and turn red. You might even notice the localized heat in the area which occurs from increased cellular and chemical activity. The cells that travel to the inflamed area attack the damaged cells and invading elements while releasing chemical compounds to begin the healing process such as new skin and blood vessels.

Inflammation also increases protein-rich fluids which are responsible for helping the body repair itself.

Signs of Inflammation: 

  • Heat
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Loss of Function

Inflammation Fights Infection

When your body experiences an injury, the area gets flooded with lots of substances and cells to repair the body. The same thing occurs when the body needs to fight infection. The body sends macrophages cells which are large cells that eat damaged and invading cells like bacteria or viruses to make room for new, healthy ones. Not only does inflammation release these large cells but it creates a certain fluid in the inflamed area that dilutes toxins to protect immune cells so they can safely attack invaders. At the end of the day, inflammation is important for fighting infections and repairing the body.

Not All Inflammation is Good

Now, not all inflammation is good. Gum disease has been linked to chronic inflammatory illnesses, including cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and diabetes. So it makes sense that treating inflammation may help you to manage your oral health…and that maintaining your oral health will help your overall health. Consider this:

  • Gum disease is called the sixth complication of diabetes.
  • Diabetics are more likely to have gum disease.
  • Diabetics have more difficulty controlling blood sugar if they have gum disease, which increases the risk of complications.

Gum disease can appear silently without any symptoms so regular checkups are important for everyone. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a thorough dental exam, or if you have been diagnosed with an inflammatory condition such as heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes, make sure you book an appointment at StarImage Dentistry to receive gum disease treatment as soon as possible. Without treatment, the inflammation can lead to serious health consequences.

Schedule an appointment at StarImage Dentistry in Wichita Falls, TX for gum disease treatment or preventive dentistry today by calling 940-322-2252.