How Gum Disease Can Impact Your Bones

Your body’s various systems are more interconnected than you may think. For example, your circulatory system works in tandem with your endocrine system to deliver hormones throughout your body, and with your immune system to carry white blood cells to the site of an infection. If something goes wrong with one system, others feel the impact.

While those might seem like obvious connections, there are other symbiotic systems that may surprise you — for example, your gums affect several body systems. Here, Dr. James Butler and our team of experts at Innovative Dental Ideas in Hilliard, Ohio, outline the connection between your gums and your overall health, particularly your bones. 

How gum disease impacts your whole body

Whether you have the early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis, or advanced stages of periodontitis, there’s more on the line than just your mouth. When bacteria enter your gum tissue, there’s nothing to stop them from traveling throughout your body and wreaking havoc wherever they go. Here are the body systems in danger when you have gum disease:

Although all these conditions warrant deep consideration, today, we’re focusing on the relationship between gum disease and your bone health. Here’s what you need to know.

How gum disease affects your bones

Periodontitis and your skeletal structure have a two-way relationship — problems in either system impact the other.

Ways your gum infection harms your bones

When bacteria build up unchecked in your gum tissue, the next stop is your jawbone. The infection spreads into the support structure and deteriorates the bone tissue, a condition called alveolar bone loss. If this occurs, we may recommend a bone graft to rebuild the structure. 

Your body’s own immune system attacks the bacteria, and your bone and connective tissue become collateral damage. Eventually, your teeth become loose, shift, and may even fall out.

Ways your bone health harms your gums

If you have osteoporosis, a condition that causes your bones to lose density and become weak, your teeth and gums are in danger. In fact, women who suffer from osteoporosis are 3 times more likely to lose teeth as a result of the disease than those who have healthy bones.

When osteoporosis compromises your jawbone, your gums are more vulnerable to bacterial invasion, which can lead to periodontitis.

Clearly, your oral health affects your bones, and your bone health affects your teeth and gums. Fortunately, there are ways to safeguard both systems.

How to keep your teeth, gums, and bones healthy

If you have or are at risk for osteoporosis, work with your doctor to keep it under control. If you have gum disease, come see us for an evaluation and a treatment plan. You can give yourself an advantage by:

If your periodontitis has progressed and you’ve lost a tooth or need one extracted, we can help by treating your gum disease and replacing the lost tooth with a dental implant. Don’t wait for the damage to get worse. Schedule a consultation with us — book online, or call us at 614-529-0062 today. 

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