The Mouth-Body Connection
It is important to understand that periodontal disease in your mouth affects your entire body. Periodontal disease produces inflammation (bleeding of the gum tissue) that eventually breaks down the supporting gum tissue and bone surrounding your teeth. Research has shown that this inflammatory process is linked to other chronic inflammatory diseases, like, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. Untreated chronic inflammation that occurs with untreated periodontal disease, can then be detrimental to other areas of the body.
Patients with poorly controlled diabetes are more at risk for developing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can also have a more rapid progression in people with uncontrolled diabetes. Research has shown that with uncontrolled periodontal disease it is more difficult for patients to control their daily blood sugar levels. This in turn can lead to an increased risk for more diabetic complications.
Research has also shown that untreated periodontal disease can also contribute to complications with pregnancy, such as, pre-term deliveries and low birth weight babies.
Several studies have shown a link between periodontal disease and heart disease and that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease. This is likely due to the inflammation that occurs in periodontal disease adversely affecting our vascular system. Research has also looked at the increased risk of having a stroke with uncontrolled periodontal disease. Patients with an uncontrolled oral infection were more likely to have a stroke than those not affected by periodontal disease.
Patients with active periodontal disease are more at risk for developing lung infections, like pneumonia, from breathing in bacteria from their mouth.
There is also an increased risk for developing different cancers like, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer and certain blood cancers with active periodontal disease is present.