Does Gum Disease Complicate Other Health Conditions?

Happy Man and WomanHigh rates of gum (periodontal) disease in America are shocking. An estimated 3 out of every 4 Americans have gingivitis (which is the earliest stage of gum disease).  Of the people afflicted with periodontal infection, approximately 30% fall into the more severe gum disease category (periodontitis). You might wonder if simply brushing your teeth, flossing, and visiting the dentist twice-a-year is enough to maintain a mouth which is gum disease free. Unfortunately, it isn’t necessarily that easy, but if you start there, you are on the right track. For added motivation, consider this: Oral-systemic health is the concept that your teeth/gums and overall health are related. Pella family dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen would like to share with you how bacteria can start in your mouth, but travel all through your body.

Oral Systemic Health

Many studies over the years have linked overall health and oral health. The idea is that bacteria infiltrates your gums through your saliva. These germs can adhere to water droplets which are in the air you inhale each time you breathe in. Water droplets with attached bacteria might become aspirated into your lungs. This can cause pneumonia or pulmonary infections. This is especially dangerous to elderly people, or anyone with a weakened immune system. Bacteria associated with periodontal disease has been proven as travelling into the body’s circulatory system as well as other parts of the body through oral route. This could lead to secondary infections in various locations away from your mouth, depending on how far these crafty germs may travel.

Traveling Oral Bacteria

A systemic inflammatory response may occur within your body as a result of the presence of the germs which cause gum disease (P. Gingivalis). Not only can oral bacteria cause new health issues throughout your body, but the inflammation is likely to complicate other existing conditions or diseases. People suffering from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and kidney disease, pregnant women, and patients dealing with chemotherapy or other cancer treatments should be extra careful with their dental health. Orthopedic implant failure is also a known complication of untreated gum disease.

Visit your Pella FamilyDentist

Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (614) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit.