What is Periodontal Disease?
The Medical Consequences of Gum Disease
~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.
Possible complications arising from untreated periodontal disease include:
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.
Gum Disease Linked To Heart Disease
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.
Recent studies have shown an significant link between periodontal disease and several types of cancer.
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.
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.