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Mouth - Body Connection

Research studies have shown a strong link between dental disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications and respiratory disease.

Periodontal disease is characterized by chronic gum tissue inflammation, periodontal infection below the gum line, and the presence of pathogenic bacteria in the oral cavity. Stopping the spread of periodontal disease and upholding the highest levels of oral hygiene will lower your risk of developing other serious illnesses as well as gum disease and bone loss.
Common cofactors associated with periodontal disease:


One study found that individuals with pre-diabetes are more likely, or more likely, to develop arthritis Arthritis can raise blood sugar levels making it difficult to control glucose levels in the blood on. This factor alone can increase the risk of severe complications of diabetes. Conversely, diabetes constricts blood vessels, making it harder to eliminate excess sugar in the mouth. The excess sugar in the gums creates a breeding ground for various gum bacteria that cause gum disease.

Heart Disease

There are several theories explaining the relationship between cardiovascular disease. One such theory is that various suckling bacteria that promote periodontitis enter the bloodstream and adhere to the pores This causes bleeding, narrowing of the pores, and may lead to heart disease.

A second possibility is that periodontal inflammation leads to plaque buildup. This can cause swelling of arteries and worsen pre-existing heart disease. According to an article published by the American Academy of Periodontology, patients whose bodies react to periodontal bacteria have a higher risk of developing heart disease

Pregnancy Complications

All women are at increased risk for developing atherosclerosis because of hormonal fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy and menstruation Research shows that pregnant women with atherosclerosis are at increased risk for preeclampsia, are underweight and babies are born early.

Periodontitis increases levels of prostaglandins, which are one of the most anti-fatigue chemicals. Elevated prostaglandin levels can cause premature labor, increasing the chances of a low birth weight baby. Periodontal disease also increases C-reactive proteins (which have been linked to heart disease in the past). High levels of these proteins can increase inflammation and increase the chances of preeclampsia and low birth weight babies.

Respiratory Disease

Ingestion of bacteria associated with gum disease likely causes or exacerbates conditions such as bronchitis, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) During normal breathing, bacteria can be absorbed ingested into the lower respiratory tract and clumped together, causing bacterial infections. Studies have shown that recurrent infections, a hallmark of COPD, may be associated with atherosclerosis.

In addition to the bacterial risk, inflammation in gum tissue can lead to severe inflammation in the lining of the lungs, which aggravates pneumonia. Individuals who suffer from chronic or persistent respiratory issues generally have low immunity. This means that bacteria can readily colonize beneath the gum line unchallenged by body’s immune system.

If you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease and the mouth-body connection, please contact our office. We care about your overall health and your smile!