Periodontal Disease
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.

Gum Disease Linked To Heart Disease

Heart Disease & Heart Attack
Recent studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a heart attack.

Stroke
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.

Diabetes
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 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
  • Stroke
  • Premature childbirth
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory diseases

Those patients having higher risk lifestyles, including:

  • Chronic stress
  • Smoker
  • Sedentary and overweight
  • 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.

For More Information

For more information, please visit the following links from the American Academy of Periodontology:

Healthy Gums and a Healthy Heart: The Perio-Cardio Connection
Newly released clinical recommendations encourage cardiologists to examine the mouth and periodontists to ask questions about heart health.
http://www.perio.org/consumer/perio_cardio.htm

AAP Statement on Periodontal Treatment and Improvement in Cardiovascular Health
Intensive periodontal treatment may reverse atherosclerosis and reduce cardiovascular risk.
http://www.perio.org/consumer/nejm-perio-cardio.htm

Possible Medical Complications
This link covers how periodontal disease can adversely affect your general health.
http://www.perio.org/consumer/mbc.top2.htm

Click here to learn about the dental consequences of periodontal disease.

Timothy M. Hale, D.D.S. Practice Limited to Periodontics and Dental Implants Tel: (281)392-6000 Fax: (281) 392-6811