The Medical Consequences
“People think of gum disease in terms of their teeth, but they don’t think about the fact that gum disease is a serious infection that can release bacteria into the bloodstream”
Dr. Robert Genco, editor “Journal of Periodontology”
Periodontal disease leads to inflammation of the gums. This inflammatory bacteria then enters your bloodstream and travels throughout your body. Researchers have linked this process to a number of serious medical conditions. It is important to treat periodontal disease as quickly as possible to avoid the release of bacteria into your bloodstream.
Periodontal Infection Is a Medical Problem
Periodontal disease is no longer thought to be just a dental problem. Researchers are finding many correlations between periodontal infection and serious medical problems:
Heart Disease & Heart Attack
Recent studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a heart attack.
Studies have also shown that people with periodontal disease are 3 times more likely to suffer a stroke.
Women with periodontal disease are 7-8 times more likely to give birth prematurely to a low birth-weight baby.
Periodontal infection can raise blood sugar in diabetic patients. Periodontal treatment often results in a reduced need for insulin.
Periodontal infection in the mouth can be breathed in and increase the severity of such respiratory diseases as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema.
A recent study from Harvard University showed that in over 51,000 males those who had moderate to severe gum disease were at a 60% greater risk for developing Pancreatic Cancer.
Studies have recently shown a link between the bacteria associated with periodontal disease (commonly known as gum disease) and Alzheimer’s. For more information, click here.
Your Infection Can Be Transmitted
Research using DNA testing has found that 80% of all periodontal disease comes from bacteria transmitted from a parent or spouse. Patients with periodontal disease can pass their infection along to their loved ones.
Some Patients Are at Higher Risk
Patients in certain higher risk categories (see below) should pay particular attention to any signs of periodontal disease.
Those patients having a personal or family history of:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Premature childbirth
- Respiratory diseases
Those patients having higher risk lifestyles, including:
- Chronic stress
- Frequent colds, flu, etc.
Higher Risk Patients
If you have been told you have periodontal disease (or some of its symptoms) it is vital that you seek evaluation and treatment.