Mouth – Body Connection

More and more research is showing that there is a strong connection between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications and respiratory disease.

We can work with you to stop the progression of periodontal disease and maintain the best standards of oral hygiene. This will help reduce the risk of gum disease and bone loss, and contribute to better overall heath by reducing the chances of developing other serious illnesses.

Some of the common cofactors associated with periodontal disease include:

Heart Disease

There are several potential links between heart disease and periodontitis. One theory is that oral bacteria attach themselves to the coronary arteries when they enter the bloodstream. This, in turn, may lead to blood clotting and the narrowing of the coronary arteries – which can lead to a heart attack.

Another possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease causes significant plaque buildup and can swell the arteries and worsen pre-existing heart conditions.

Diabetes

Individuals with pre-existing diabetic conditions are at greater risk for periodontal disease. Gum disease can increase blood sugar levels which makes it hard to control the amount of glucose in the blood. This alone can increase the risk of serious diabetic complications. Diabetes also thickens blood vessels, making it harder for the mouth to rid itself of excess sugar. The more sugar in your mouth, the more likely oral bacteria will be able to breed and cause periodontitis.

Respiratory Disease

Some oral bacterium can potentially cause or worsen some conditions such as emphysema, pneumonia and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). This happens when the oral bacteria are drawn into the lower respiratory tract as you breathe, where they colonize and cause infections. Studies have shown that the repeated infections which characterize COPD may be linked with periodontitis.

Gum tissue inflammation can also lead to severe inflammation in the lining of the lungs, which aggravates pneumonia. Individuals who suffer from chronic or persistent respiratory issues generally have low immune responses, which means bacteria can more easily colonize in the gum line.

Pregnancy Complications

Women are often at increased risk of developing periodontal disease because of hormone fluctuations that occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Research also suggests that pregnant women who suffer from periodontal disease are more at risk of preeclampsia and delivering premature births.

This is usually gum disease can increase the levels of prostaglandin, which is one of the labor-inducing chemicals. Periodontal disease also elevates C-reactive proteins, which can amplify the inflammatory response of the body and increase the chances of preeclampsia and low birth weights.

Contact us today to learn more about how the health of your mouth and body are so connected.

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