Periodontal disease has been shown to be linked to other systemic disease. Diabetes, Heart Disease, even Osteoporosis, Kidney Disease, and some forms of Cancer all have some causal link to Periodontal Disease. The reasons for this are varied, and for some of these diseases periodontal disease is thought to be a contributing factor, whereas with others it’s thought to be a complication of systemic disease.
Diabetes and Heart Disease
Diabetes has been shown to be linked to Periodontal disease. People who are diagnosed with diabetes, are considerably more at risk to contract periodontal disease. The link between periodontal disease and diabetes is due to high blood sugar interfering with the ability to fight infection. However, periodontal disease interferes with the body’s sugar metabolism making it more difficult to keep diabetes under control. If you are diabetic, management of periodontal disease is an essential part of successful disease management.
Heart/Cardiovascular Disease has been linked to periodontal disease in many studies. The degree of this effect remains an area of research. Inflammation caused by periodontal bacteria that get into the bloodstream is the most likely cause for this. Scarring of blood vessel walls make heart attacks more likely. Stroke risk is also increased for people with periodontal disease for the same reason. The immune system fighting bacteria in the blood stream can create blockages and weaken artery walls leading to the restriction of blood flow to the brain.
Periodontal Disease has long been linked to Respiratory disease. Bacteria from the mouth have direct access to the airway and lungs. In healthy patients the immune system keeps this movement of bacteria in check. However, in patients with lung disease or impaired immune systems, periodontal bacteria can breach these defenses increasing the severity pre-existing respiratory problems
The link between periodontal disease and certain cancers are varied, however it’s known statistically that men with gum disease had a significantly higher chance of developing oral, kidney, pancreatic, and certain blood cancers. While no one seems to be able to point to an exact reason for this, again inflammation resulting from the immune system fighting periodontal bacteria is thought to be the culprit. Regardless, it is a relationship that should not be ignored.
While this is not good news, neither is it all doom-and-gloom. Fortunately control of
periodontal infection is not difficult. For most patients, modest professional therapy coupled with good oral hygiene at home goes far in controlling periodontal disease and reduce the risks for these serious systemic diseases. Discussing the causal links for disease in the body just shows that the entire body works as one system, and should be taken care of accordingly.
Contact Healthy Gums Montana for all of your periodontal needs!