Periodontal Disease and Respiratory Disease

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, has been linked to respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. It is a progressive condition caused by bacterial infection that leads to the destruction of gum and bone tissue. If left untreated, it can result in tooth loss. Respiratory infections occur when bacteria from the mouth are inhaled into the lungs. COPD, a leading cause of death, should be taken seriously.

Reasons for the Connection

Diagnosis and Treatment

When respiratory disease and periodontal disease are both diagnosed in one individual, it is important for the dentist and doctor to function as a team to control both conditions.  There are many non-surgical and surgical options available, depending on the specific condition of the teeth, gums and jaw.

The dentist is able to assess the extent of the inflammation and tissue loss and can treat the bacterial infection easily.  Scaling procedures cleanse the pockets of debris and root planing smoothes the tooth root to eliminate any remaining bacteria.  The dentist generally places antibiotics into the pockets after cleaning to promote good healing and reduce the risk of the infection returning.

Whichever treatment is deemed the most suitable, the benefits of controlling periodontal disease are two-fold.  Firstly, any discomfort in the oral region will be reduced and the gums will be much healthier.  Secondly, the frequent, unpleasant respiratory infections associated with COPD and other common respiratory problems will reduce in number.

If you have questions or concerns about respiratory disease or periodontal disease, please ask your dentist.

Respiratory disease and periodontal disease are connected due to:

Bacterial spread – Oral bacteria can reach the lungs, causing pneumonia and worsening conditions like COPD.

Low immunity – Weakened immunity allows oral bacteria to thrive, leading to periodontal disease and increasing the risk of respiratory problems.

Modifiable factors – Smoking damages oral health and exacerbates periodontal disease, as well as respiratory conditions.

Inflammation – Periodontal disease's oral inflammation may affect lung health and airflow.

Contact Us.We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form.

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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.