How Does Gum Disease Affect Systemic Health

Category: Others/ Misc

Presentation Description

The evidence for this link between gum disease and systemic disease is so strong that increasingly, cardiologists are asking their patients about oral health and dentists are asking their patients about systemic health.


Presentation Transcript

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How Does Gum Disease Affect Systemic Health For several decades medical specialists have concentrated on treating diseases affecting their respective specialities. Similarly dentists have treated gum disease to augment oral health. However recent research shows that oral health significantly impacts systemic health. Which simply means that gum disease causes other diseases ranging from heart disease to rheumatoid arthritis RA. The evidence for this link between gum disease and systemic disease is so strong that increasingly cardiologists are asking their patients about oral health and dentists are asking their patients about systemic health. Chronic inflammatory dental conditions such as gingivitis and periodontal disease can adversely affect systemic health. It was previously thought that this was due to bacteria entering the bloodstream and damaging major organs. However it is now thought that chronic inflammation of the gums can cause inflammation in varied different parts of the body. Given below are some systemic diseases that can be caused by gum disease and vice versa. 1 Gum Disease and Heart Disease: Over the years it has been found that people with poor gum health have been known to have poor heart health including greater risk of heart attacks. Scientists have found that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the increased risk of heart disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart conditions such as infective endocarditis. 2 Gum Disease and Diabetes: If you have diabetes you are more likely to have gum disease and vice versa. Periodontal disease is often considered to be a side effect of diabetes. Also severe periodontal disease can cause a significant increase in blood sugar. 3 Gum Disease and Dementia: Gum disease also raises the risk of dementia later in life. Researchers have also found that gum disease may be associated with mild cognitive impairment such as memory problems making daily activities more

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difficult. A recent study found that patients with severe periodontal disease scored very low on memory tests and calculations. 4 Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis RA: RA is an autoimmune disease marked by inflammation and painful joints. People with RA are more likely to have periodontal disease as chronic inflammation is common to both conditions. Although scientists have not found evidence that one causes the other a 2009 study found that patients with a severe form of RA had less pain swelling and morning stiffness after their periodontal disease was treated. Also people with RA are more likely to have periodontal disease with more missing teeth than patients without RA. 5 Gum Disease and Premature Birth: Studies that have attempted to link gum disease and premature birth have had conflicting results. Some show that women with gum disease are more likely to deliver a preterm baby whereas other studies do not show a definite link. Research is still ongoing. However other research has also shown that treating gum disease in pregnant women helps them carry their infants to term. Also one recent study showed that pregnant women who completed periodontal treatment before the 35 th week were more likely to carry their babies to term. 6 Gum Disease and Respiratory Problems: Bacteria that are present in the oral cavity may be aspirated into the lungs causing pneumonia. Also patients with poor oral health were more likely to suffer from other respiratory problems than those with optimum oral health. 7 Gum Disease and Stroke: There is also a possible link between gum disease and stroke. Patients diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were more likely to have an oral infection when compared to patients in a control group. 8 Gum Disease and Osteoporosis: Bone loss is a feature that occurs in both periodontal disease as well as osteoporosis. Also many studies have found a strong link between periodontal disease and estrogen deficiency. The latter is one of the main causes of osteoporosis. 9 Gum Disease and Cancer: While the link between gum disease and cancer is still unclear researchers found that men with gum disease were 49 more likely to develop kidney cancer. They were also 54 more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and 30 more like to develop blood cancer. At Bellevue Dental Health we pride ourselves on caring for your oral health. If you suspect that you have gum disease you should visit us for a detailed consult. If needed we can treat gum disease as well as educate you regarding potential treatment options and risks.

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Check-ups with a qualified dentist such as those at Bellevue Dental Health should be undertaken on a regular basis to help prevent gum disease and the risk of other systemic diseases. For more information on gum disease and its prevention and treatment consult Dr. Libbi Finnessy at 425-641-3311 or at or go to our website for more information. Source – Bellevue Dental Health.

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