gum disease and other diseases
Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.
Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association. Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics before undergoing dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires the use of antibiotics before dental procedures.
Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found to be more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.
People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because those with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Those people who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.
Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways—periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar.
Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications.
Researchers have suggested there is a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. In addition, studies suggest that osteoporosis may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports the teeth may be decreased, which means the teeth no longer have a solid foundation.
Research has found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lungs and cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia—especially in people with periodontal disease.
Researchers found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.