Research has shown a significant connection between the health of your mouth and your overall body health, particularly where periodontal disease is concerned. This chronic inflammatory condition not only affects your gums and teeth but also has far-reaching impacts on other health conditions. Understanding this connection can empower you to take proactive steps toward better health.

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It is typically caused by poor oral hygiene that allows plaque — a sticky film of bacteria — to build up on the teeth and harden. When left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to sore, bleeding gums, painful chewing problems and even tooth loss. But the implications go beyond your mouth.

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you are more susceptible to periodontal disease, and this connection works both ways. High blood sugar levels can lead to severe gum disease, which in turn can make blood sugar levels harder to control. This bidirectional relationship means managing your oral health is crucial in controlling diabetes. Regular dental checkups and proper oral hygiene can significantly improve your overall health.

Periodontal Disease, Heart Disease and Stroke

Gum disease is also linked to heart disease and stroke. The bacteria from infected gums can enter your bloodstream, attach to the blood vessels, and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke by contributing to the formation of clots and arterial plaques. This can lead to severe cardiovascular events such as heart attacks. Maintaining good oral hygiene and treating periodontal disease promptly can reduce these risks.

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

Pregnant women with periodontal disease are at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, including premature birth and low birth weight. The hormonal changes during pregnancy can exacerbate gum disease, making it vital to maintain regular dental visits and excellent oral hygiene during this period.

Periodontal Disease and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and makes them more susceptible to fractures, is another condition linked to periodontal disease. The inflammation caused by gum disease can lead to the deterioration of the bone structures supporting your teeth, exacerbating osteoporosis.

Periodontal Disease and Respiratory Health

If you have gum disease, the bacteria in your mouth can be inhaled into your lungs, leading to respiratory infections and worsening conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. Good oral hygiene can help reduce the risk of these respiratory issues.

Schedule A Consultation

Here at State Street Dental, we understand the importance of the mouth-body connection. Our experienced dentist and team work closely with your medical doctors to help manage both your oral and overall health. Regular dental checkups, proper brushing and flossing and a healthy diet are key steps you can take to maintain good oral health and, consequently, better overall health.

If you have any concerns about periodontal disease in Boise, Idaho, or its impact on your health, please call our office today at 208-939-1700 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Gregory Davis. Our team is here to provide you with the best care and support for a healthier mouth and body.