Gum Disease The Mouth-Body Connection

Gum Disease Linked To Heart Disease

Active periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation in the gums. The immune cells and the byproducts of the inflammatory cascade in the diseased, inflamed gum tissues can re-enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. Researchers have linked the presence of elevated levels of inflammatory cells, chemical mediators and the waste byproducts of inflammation that are circulating in the bloodstream to a number of serious medical conditions. It is important to treat periodontal disease as early and quickly as possible to reduce inflammation so that elevated levels of harmful cells, chemicals and hormones in the blood are minimized.

Heart Disease & Heart Attack 
Recent studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a heart attack.

Stroke 
Studies have also shown that people with periodontal disease are 3 times more likely to suffer a stroke.

Pre-Term Childbirth 
Women with periodontal disease are 7-8 times more likely to give birth prematurely to a low birth-weight baby.

Diabetes 
Periodontal infection can raise blood sugar in diabetic patients. Periodontal treatment often results in a reduced need for insulin.

Respiratory Disease 
Periodontal infection in the mouth can be breathed in and increase the severity of such respiratory diseases as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema.

Periodontal Infection Is a Medical Problem

Periodontal disease is no longer thought to be just a dental problem. Researchers are finding many correlations between periodontal infection and serious medical problems.

Your Infection Can Be Transmitted

Research using DNA testing has found that 80% of all periodontal disease comes from bacteria transmitted from a parent or spouse. Patients with periodontal disease can pass their infection along to their loved ones.

Some Patients Are at Higher Risk

Patients in certain higher risk categories (see below) should pay particular attention to any signs of periodontal disease.

Those patients having a personal or family history of:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Premature childbirth
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory diseases

Those patients having higher risk lifestyles, including:

  • Chronic stress
  • Smoker
  • Sedentary and overweight
  • Frequent colds, flu, etc.

Higher Risk Patients

If you have been told you have periodontal disease (or some of its symptoms) it is vital that you seek evaluation and treatment.