The Mouth-Body Connection
"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"
Gum Disease Linked To Heart Disease Infections in the mouth such as periodontal infections can affect other areas of the body. Evidence suggests that those with gum disease are at higher risk for developing heart disease, strokes, uncontrolled diabetes, preterm births and respiratory disease.
The periodontal bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause problems at other major organs. Gum Disease is no longer only a dental concern – it is also a medical problem.
- 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.
- Pre-Term Childbirth
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.
- Respiratory Disease
Periodontal infection in the mouth can be breathed in and increase the severity of such respiratory diseases as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema.
Periodontal Disease can be Transmitted
It is also important to know that gum disease 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.