Periodontal Health – What it means to your dental and overall health

Aug 27, 2021 | Dental Health

Our dental team is committed to staying abreast of the current dental research in the interest of good health. We wish our patients to be aware of the most current research regarding periodontal health, heart disease, pulmonary infections, diabetes, chronic infections and other health related issues.

How does periodontal disease affect your overall health?

Cardiovascular Disease
Those who have periodontal disease have an increased risk of stroke, heart disease/failure, heart attack, arrhythmia and bacterial endocarditis.

Current research reveals that simmering, painless inflammation in the body is the single most powerful trigger of heart attacks, even worse than high cholesterol. Inflammation may be measured with a simple blood test for CRP (C-reative protein). It is believed that inflammation has many possible sources. Possible triggers for elevated CRP levels include smoking, high blood pressure, and lingering low level infections such as chronic gum disease.

Diabetes
Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications.

Premature/Low Birth Weight Babies
Pregnant women with periodontal disease have an increased risk of delivering premature or low birth weight babies.

Joint Replacements and Heart
Those who have joint replacements and high levels of oral bacteria from periodontal disease risk infection of the prosthesis which can lead to failure of the replacement.

Cancer
People who have periodontal (gum) disease may have a higher risk of developing some forms of cancer. US researchers found that a history of periodontal disease appeared to be associated with a raised risk of esophageal (gullet) cancer and gastric (stomach) cancer and this risk was also higher among people who had lost teeth previously. There have been many studies regarding the correlation of gum disease and various cancers, and the data continues to provide more evidence between gum disease and cancer risk.

Osteoporosis
There is a reciprocal relationship between total bone mass loss and tooth loss due to periodontal disease.

How does periodontal disease affect your dental health?
Those who have periodontal disease may experience

  • Progressive loss of supportive jaw bone
  • Abscess
  • Tooth loss
  • Migration (shifting) of teeth
  • Recession (longer looking teeth)
  • Loose teeth
  • Unstable bite leading to muscle, jaw joint and tooth premature wear and fracture More extensive, time consuming and expensive treatment as disease worsens.