"People think of gum disease in terms of their teeth, but they don't think about the fact that gum disease is a serious infection that can release bacteria into the bloodstream."
Dr. Robert Genco, editor of Journal of Periodontology
Periodontal disease leads to inflammation of the gums. This inflammatory bacteria then enters your bloodstream and travels throughout your body. Researchers have linked this process to a number of serious medical conditions. It is important to treat periodontal disease as quickly as possible to avoid the release of bacteria into your bloodstream.
Recent studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a heart attack.
Studies have also shown that people with periodontal disease are 3 times more likely to suffer a stroke.
Women with periodontal disease are 7-8 times more likely to give birth prematurely to a low birth-weight baby.
Periodontal infection can raise blood sugar in diabetic patients. Periodontal treatment often results in a reduced need for insulin.
Periodontal infection in the mouth can be breathed in and increase the severity of such respiratory diseases as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema.
Periodontal disease is no longer thought to be just a dental problem. Researchers are finding many correlations between periodontal infection and serious medical problems.
Research using DNA testing has found that 80% of all periodontal disease comes from bacteria transmitted from a parent or spouse. Patients with periodontal disease can pass their infection along to their loved ones.
Patients in certain higher risk categories (see below) should pay particular attention to any signs of periodontal disease.
Those patients having a personal or family history of:
Those patients having higher risk lifestyles, including:
If you have been told you have periodontal disease (or some of its symptoms) it is vital that you seek evaluation and treatment.
Click here to learn about the dental consequences of periodontal disease.