Excel Dental Blog

What’s the Relationship Between Periodontal Disease and Systemic Disease?

What’s the Relationship Between Periodontal Disease and Systemic Disease?

What’s the Relationship Between Periodontal Disease and Systemic Disease?

You may already know that periodontal disease — also called gum disease — can be a serious problem for your oral health.

Gum disease begins when hard plaque builds up on the gum line. If this plaque isn’t removed, it will lead to gingivitis, which is an early form of gum disease. Over time, untreated gum disease can increase your risk of tooth loss.

But how does gum disease affect your overall health? Are people with some medical conditions at special risk?

Let’s take a look at the relationship between periodontal disease and your systemic health. It’s just another reason why it’s so important to maintain healthy gums.

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

The relationship between gum disease and diabetes appears to be a two-way street. The American Dental Hygienists Association reports that having periodontal disease may affect the risk of developing diabetes in the future.

It is also estimated that about 95% of Americans with diabetes have gum disease, which makes it harder to control your blood sugar.

  • Periodontal infection can be a metabolic stressor in people with diabetes.
  • The bacteria that cause gum disease can induce an inflammatory response, which may contribute to insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar.
  • The American Academy of Periodontology cautions that patients with gum disease may also be at a higher risk of diabetic complications.

Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease

Gum disease may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease. In addition, gum disease may exacerbate existing heart conditions.

  • Some heart patients may need to take antibiotics prior to undergoing a dental procedure.
  • The bacteria associated with periodontal disease may elevate some of the biological “markers” associated with heart disease, such as C-reactive protein.

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, or think you may become pregnant in the near future, good oral hygiene should be part of your prenatal care plan.

According to the American Dental Hygienists Association, women with gum disease may be more likely to deliver premature, low-birth-weight babies.

Periodontal Disease and Respiratory Illness

The dental plaque associated with gum disease can harbor many respiratory pathogens.

Mouth bacteria can enter your respiratory system by aspiration. Individuals who are already at high risk of developing respiratory illness, or respiratory complications, should pay especially close attention to oral hygiene.

Periodontal Disease and Osteoporosis

Many people know that the bacteria that cause gum disease can also damage your teeth.

What you may not know is that those same bacteria may also affect your bone health. Left untreated, periodontal issues could put you at risk for developing osteoporosis.

Are you concerned that you may have gum disease or how periodontal disease may affect your health? Do you have questions about maintaining healthy gums?

Get in touch with us at Excel Dental in Ozark. Drs. Davis and Matthews will help you protect your gum health and reduce the health risks associated with periodontal disease, giving you one more reason to Smile Healthy!