Mouth - Body Connection

Research studies have shown that there is a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications and respiratory disease.

Periodontal disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gum tissue, periodontal infection below the gum line and a presence of disease-causing bacteria in the oral region.  Halting the progression of periodontal disease and maintaining excellent standards of oral hygiene will not only reduce the risk of gum disease and bone loss, but also reduce the chances of developing other serious illnesses.

The common cofactors associated with periodontal disease are:

Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can increase blood sugar levels, making it harder to control glucose levels. Conversely, diabetes thickens blood vessels, making it difficult for the mouth to eliminate excess sugar and creating an environment for oral bacteria that cause gum disease.

Heart Disease: The link between heart disease and periodontitis is believed to be due to oral bacteria strains exacerbating periodontal disease and attaching themselves to the coronary arteries. This can contribute to blood clot formation and the narrowing of coronary arteries, increasing the risk of a heart attack. Inflammation caused by periodontal disease can also lead to plaque buildup, swelling of arteries, and worsen pre-existing heart conditions.

Pregnancy Complications: Hormone fluctuations during pregnancy increase the risk of periodontal disease in women. Pregnant women with periodontal disease are more prone to preeclampsia and delivering underweight, premature babies. Periodontitis increases levels of prostaglandin, a labor-inducing chemical, which can trigger premature labor. Elevated C-reactive protein levels due to periodontal disease can amplify the inflammatory response, increasing the chances of preeclampsia and low birth weight babies.

Respiratory Disease: Oral bacteria associated with gum disease can cause or worsen respiratory conditions such as emphysema, pneumonia, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Oral bacteria can enter the lower respiratory tract during normal inhalation and cause bacterial infections. Chronic respiratory issues and low immunity make it easier for bacteria to colonize beneath the gum line, leading to periodontitis. Inflammation in gum tissue can also aggravate pneumonia and worsen respiratory conditions.

It's important to note that while these factors are associated with periodontal disease, they may increase the risk or severity of the condition. Proper oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups, and management of underlying health conditions are crucial for maintaining oral health. Periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis and gum disease) is a progressive condition and the leading cause of tooth loss amongst adults in the developed world. Periodontal disease occurs when the toxins found in plaque begin to irritate or inflame the gingiva (gum tissue). The resulting bacterial infection often known as gingivitis, can eventually lead to the destruction of the gum tissue and underlying bone. If periodontal disease is not treated, it can also lead to loose teeth or tooth loss. There are many common types of periodontal disease including aggressive, chronic, necrotizing periodontitis, and periodontitis associated with systemic diseases. Each of these types of periodontal disease has its own distinct characteristics and symptoms, and all require prompt treatment by a dentist to halt subsequent bone and tissue loss.

If you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease and the mouth-body connection, please contact our office. We care about your overall health and your smile!

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.

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 below.