Problems in your mouth, other than tooth decay, can both cause problems else where in your body and be made worse by other conditions you may have. In this article we explore some of these inter connections
Commonly referred to as gum disease, periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease caused when bacteria in plaque below the gum line lead to swelling, irritation, and possibly receding gums and tooth loss.
Periodontal disease has been linked to many chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer. Despite its prevalence, periodontal disease is hardly ever discussed, resulting in a lack of urgency for people to properly care for their gums.
Research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several other diseases. Inflammation of the gums may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.
• 93% with gum disease are at risk for diabetes. Research also shows that diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.
• If you have diabetes and bleeding gums, your risk of premature death increases by 400% to 700%. If you have bleeding gums & diabetes, consult your dentist immediately.
• Eliminating gum disease adds an average of 6.5 years to your life.
• Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease. Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.
• Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
• Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.
• Harvard studies state that gum disease increases risk of pancreatic and kidney cancer by 62%
• Gum disease & tooth loss increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease.