Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a preventable disease that affects the gums and tissues supporting the teeth. Early treatment for gum disease is the key to preventing further health conditions.
Everyone needs to develop healthy habits to avoid this disease. But compared to women, men are significantly more likely to develop periodontal disease, leading to or exacerbating other serious health conditions. Let’s review how periodontal disease affects men and how men can avoid developing this condition.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can cause your jawbone to deteriorate if left untreated. The infection causes an inflammatory response in the body, which breaks down the tissues surrounding the teeth.  Pockets then form around the teeth, making it even easier for bacteria and plaque to build up and increase the pocket depth and bone damage. Since only a dentist can clean any bacteria or infection from these pockets, early treatment for gum disease is key to stop the infection from worsening and causing you to lose teeth.
Early warning signs of gum disease include: 
- Chronic bad breath
- Bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Pain when eating or drinking certain foods
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your dentist right away.
Early Treatment for Gum Disease in Men
Gum disease is more common in men than in women. Approximately 54% of adult men will develop gum disease at some point in their lives.  Treating gum disease early is vital to reduce the damage caused by the infection. In men, however, this is especially important because there are several health conditions related to periodontal health. Let’s review some of the health conditions that can be related to periodontal health.
Sexual Health and Gum Disease
According to a study published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine, men who have erectile dysfunction are three times more likely to suffer from periodontal disease.  These seemingly unrelated conditions are linked by inflammation. The inflammatory response caused by an infection of the gums can affect other areas of the body including blood vessels that can affect erectile function.
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
According to perio.org, heart disease and periodontal disease are both chronic inflammatory conditions that cause them to be linked. Periodontal disease can increase your risk of heart disease. Since men are already at risk for developing heart disease, taking great care of teeth and gums is another way to reduce that risk. 
Gum Disease and the Risk of Cancer
Research has found that men who suffer from chronic gum disease are 14 times more likely to develop certain types of cancer than men with healthy gums.  Scientists haven’t yet been able to determine the mechanism that causes this link. Recent studies have found that the highest risk increases were colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer. [5, 6] Even though researchers aren’t sure why periodontal disease increases cancer risk, it is still suggested to take steps to avoid periodontal disease altogether.
Treatment for Gum Disease
If you are suffering from gum disease, contact Dental Implants and Periodontal Health of Rochester today. Early treatment is key to reducing the risk of further health complications. We will work with you to determine a plan of care to treat and prevent periodontal disease. Contact us today to get started. 585-685-2005