In general, gum disease causes inflammation. Inflammation has been found to be the precursor of heart disease, stroke, pregnancy problems and over all fatigue. In other words, it is a marker for generalized ill-health. This has been confirmed through blood work and C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is a inflammation marker which decreases when gum infection is brought under control, and increase with advanced gum disease.
The first sign of gum disease is inflammation. You’ll know when this is present as your gums appear slightly red, tender, and may even bleed when you brush or floss. The main cause of inflammation is bacteria that form a film called plaque, and stick to the gum and teeth surfaces. If this plaque is not removed at least once per day, the problem can advance to severe gum disease. As inflammation advances, the disease effects destruction of the gums and eventually bone. The teeth develop tooth decay, become loose and may have to be extracted. This is why dental visits are very important at least every three months to monitor the health and condition of your teeth and gums, especially with the presence of cancer.
Most people are aware of hair loss with chemotherapy. But most don’t realize that more than one-third of people being treated for breast cancer can develop complications that affect the mouth. These complications can affect your quality of life. Preexisting or untreated oral disease can even complicate cancer treatment. This is one reason to make sure you visit your dentist at least one month before beginning cancer treatment.