What role does gum disease play in hearing?
The inflammation associated with gingivitis and periodontitis is essentially the body’s way of fighting back against a buildup of bacteria along the gum line. When that bacteria gets into your gums, it causes inflammation, bleeding, serious infection, and tooth loss if left untreated. Gum disease poses other risks, though, aside from losing your teeth and dealing with a serious mouth infection. The bacteria that cause your body to react harshly in your mouth can enter your bloodstream. If they do, they can cause inflammation and narrowing of arteries and blood vessels – including the ones involved in hearing.
To understand this, it helps to know exactly how your hearing works. Your outer ear collects and funnels noise through your ear canal and into your inner ear and ear drum. This is where your sensory organs for hearing (and balance) are located. Once vibration reaches that area of your ears, it stimulates thousands of tiny hairs that transmit the movement to your brain, which in turn interprets the messages as sound.
Those tiny hairs are essential in your hearing, and their health can be affected by the flow of blood through vessels in your inner ear. If those vessels become infected by bacteria caused by your gum disease, those tiny hairs will die. Once dead, there’s no way to replace them. It’s a permanent death, and you’ll be stuck with a degree of hearing loss for the rest of your life. If you leave this hearing loss untreated, it can even progress to dementia and memory loss. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your oral health.
For gum disease treatment, come to Dr. Trujillo, your local periodontist in Phoenix, as soon as possible. We can help you get ahead of the game when it comes to fighting periodontitis, and can even help you reverse its damaging effects.
Prevent it before it begins
You can prevent gum disease, and the hearing loss it can cause, by the very simple act of following a regular oral health care schedule. Brushing, flossing, avoiding foods high in acids and sugars, and visiting our office at least twice a year will ensure that you have great oral health.
If you feel that you may have early signs of gum disease, please contact us today so we can help.