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Links have also been found between gum disease and other serious health conditions such as stroke, diabetes, obesity and greater risks during pregnancy.
Many people don’t even know they have gum disease — called periodontal disease. Often there are no signs until the disease is advanced. Here’s the good news: You can prevent gum disease with a good daily oral routine.
Gum disease is a chronic bacterial infection that causes swelling in the gums. It also damages the bone supporting the teeth. Bacteria in the mouth can enter the blood stream and travel through the body to harm the heart and blood vessels.
Gum disease has several tell-tale symptoms. Watch for these signs of trouble:
Talk to your dentist about your risk for gum disease. Together, you can create a care plan that’s right for you.
You can help fend off gum disease with these good dental habits:
Remember, gum disease can cause serious health issues throughout your body. With good dental habits and professional oral care, you can help protect your health.
Check your plan benefits for details about your dental coverage. For more tips on the link between oral health and your overall health, visit bcbsil.com. Log in to Blue Access for MembersSM, click on the “Coverage” tab and then “Dental” to visit the Dental Wellness Center.
Originally published 6/13/2016; Revised 2021, 2023
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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