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What Can Happen to Your Lungs if You Do Not Treat Gum Disease?

Posted on 2/29/2020 by Dr. Karl Zeren
What Can Happen to Your Lungs if You Do Not Treat Gum Disease?Most people are well aware of the dangers that gum disease poses to their mouths. Loose and missing teeth, bleeding gum tissue, secondary gum infections, and even loss of bone tissue in the underlying jawbone are all relatively well known results of gum disease.

However, many people are not aware that gum disease, if left untreated for long enough, can pose a significant risk to their lungs.

The Link Between Your Gums and Your Lungs

When you breathe in through your mouth, air rushes past your gum tissue and into your lungs. It makes sense, then, that an issue in your mouth could lead to serious problems in your lungs.

Gum Disease and Its Impact on Your Lungs

First of all, gum disease can create inflammation in your lungs. This can be due to a few things. One common issue is breathing in bacteria from your gum tissue. These bacteria can become lodged in the lungs and cause infections. When the lung tissue is inflamed, the tubes are more narrow, causing them to function at a less efficient level.

In addition to reduced lung capacity, gum disease can lead to more serious conditions, including lung cancer. The bacteria in your gum tissue can be transmitted into the lungs, where it can contribute to the development of lung cancer.

A recent study which was published in February of 2019 showed a direct correlation between chronic (which means long-term) gum disease and the development of lung cancer. Although the exact mechanism by which the gum disease contributes to lung cancer is still not fully understood, there is little doubt that the former does in fact increase the risk of the latter.

This means that it is imperative for you to seek out immediate treatment if you develop gum disease. Prompt treatment can not only save your teeth, it could even save your life.
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