Periodontal Disease and the Link to Overall Health


Oral health can actually be one of the body’s early indicators of other health concerns, aside from issues that dentists deal with. One such indicator is periodontal disease. Periodontal diseases involve the inflammation and infection of the gums.

Whether poor health is caused by periodontal disease, or periodontal disease is called by poor health, scientists aren’t exactly sure. What they do note is a link between the two; if one appears, you may be dealing with the other without being aware of it.

Here is a brief list of conditions that may be linked with periodontal disease:

  • Premature birth in expecting mothers. Studies have shown that women with periodontal disease are more likely to give birth before term, which in turn causes the child to have a higher risk of health concerns. Treatment of periodontal disease can actually lower the rate of premature birth.
  • Individuals with diabetes may experience increased incidences of inflammation of the tissue, including gum tissue. Inflamed tissue may be prone to breaks or bleeding, which exposes the inner tissue to the bacteria of the mouth. Controlling your diabetic condition can reduce your chances of infection.
  • Heart disease. Also linked to inflammation. Scientists have written several reports about the links between periodontal disease and heart health. The bottom line is that individuals with poor gum health are more likely to experience cardiac arrest. Individuals with a history of heart disease in the family should always get dental examinations for signs of gum disease– it could be an early indicator of a more serious issue.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. As an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis can also need to chronic inflammation. It may also lead to tooth loss, which exposes more of the gum’s tissue to friction, damage, and infection. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, please speak with a dentist about examination and treatment options that could benefit your long term health.

While reversing gum-based disease won’t solve the underlying health concerns that they are linked to, they do reduce the rate of bacteria from a gum infection moving to other organs of the body, which in turn would further complicate a condition like diabetes or heart disease.

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