There is now a significant body of research to link Gum disease and inflammatory processes to a number of major health conditions. Whilst in-depth research is under way, the consensus is that to lead a healthy life, all suspected risk factors must be recognized, reduced and / or eliminated.
Published material from the American Academy of Periodontics indicates that individuals with periodontal disease may be twice as likely to suffer a heart attack and three times as likely to suffer a stroke as those without gum disease. In addition, the severity of the attack is greater and can be fatal.
Bacteria from the mouth have been identified in the coronary arteries of such patients and cannot be ignored or taken lightly.
According to the American Dental Association diabetes makes people more susceptible to bacterial infections and periodontal disease. There are indicators that the presence of periodontal disease and consequent oral inflammatory processes actually aggravates the diabetic condition. It is considered by some researchers to be more significant that obesity or age as a factor in the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
There is a body of research to demonstrate that the administration of antibiotics to control oral bacteria had the same resulting effect of lowering blood sugar levels as did blood-sugar normalizing medication.
There is preliminary evidence that several pneumonia causing bacteria, present in periodontal tissues, can move to the lungs by inhalation. Additionally, the related and debilitating respiratory diseases like bronchitis and emphysema are worsened by the presence of periodontal disease.
Premature birth and low birth weight: It is common to see women with ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ due to the fragility of gum tissues caused by hormonal swings. Gum inflammation releases inflammatory products into the blood stream and this may induce premature labour. Additionally, after birth, mothers can transfer these virulent bacteria to their child’s mouth by spoons and other feeding implements.
Patients with joint and heart valve replacements must be mindful of the potential for oral bacteria circulating in the blood stream to be deposited in the surgical site. Rheumatic heart disease starts in children is one manifestation of how severe and life-long damage can occur when pathogenic oral bacteria are free to enter a sterile blood stream.
If you would like to have additional information on periodontal disease or would like an assessment of your Oral Health, please contact us.
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