Did you know your doctor appointments and dentist appointments are much more closely related than you thought? Specifically, periodontal disease can have a very big effect on your overall health, as there are links with diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications and respiratory disease. Periodontal disease centers around the inflammation of gum tissue. Disease causing bacteria sits below the gum line, which can be detrimental in a variety of ways. Strong dental hygiene will cut back the possibility of gum disease, in turn, reducing chances of bodily illness.
As a whole, diabetics are more likely to suffer from periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can increase blood glucose levels, ultimately contributing to the long-term complications of diabetes. In addition, the excess sugar residing in the mouth can create even more dental concerns.
When it comes to heart disease and its connection to periodontal issues, there are a couple schools of thought. First, some believe the oral bacteria strains characteristic of periodontal disease attach to coronary arteries. This tends to encourage blood clot formation. Narrower coronary arteries are tied to heart attacks. Secondly, gum inflammation related to periodontal disease causes a buildup of plaque. The plaque is known to swell arteries, worsening any present heart conditions.
Women begin at a higher risk for periodontal disease than men because of constant hormone fluctuations, due to puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Research suggests women with periodontal disease are more likely to give birth to underweight, premature children. This is thought to occur because periodontal disease increases the levels of prostaglandin, which is a labor-inducing chemical, possibly sending women into labor before the child is fully developed. Periodontal disease also results in an increase C-reactive proteins, which magnify the inflammatory response of the body and the probability of low-birth weight babies.
Oral bacteria and gum disease are proven to cause or worsen breathing related conditions, such as emphysema, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Often times, oral bacteria shifts into the lower respiratory tract during normal inhalation. The bacteria will gather there, causing infections. Conclusions point to fact that these infections flare up COPD on a regular basis. In addition, gum tissue inflammation can lead to lung lining inflammation, which aggravates pneumonia. Chronic respiratory issues are linked to damaged and inefficient immune systems. Keep your teeth healthy to keep your body healthy!