The Consequences of Periodontal Disease

Gum Disease is a Major Cause of Adult Tooth Loss

The majority of adult tooth loss is due to periodontal disease. When your gums and bone are damaged by periodontal infection, there is less support for your teeth. As this support disappears, your teeth first become loose and prone to more damage and infection. This ultimately leads to tooth loss. When your dentist recommends periodontal treatment, it is important to get started right away.

Whole Health Problems Caused by Gum Disease

Gum Disease Linked To Heart Disease

Periodontal disease is no longer thought to be just a dental problem. Researchers are finding many correlations between periodontal infection and serious medical problems. At first it was thought that the increased bacteria in the blood stream was what was causing the medical problems, however, more recent research indicates that it is very likely the inflammation itself that is the cause.

Periodontal disease has been linked with the following diseases and conditions:

Heart Disease & Heart Attack 
Recent studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a heart attack.

Stroke 
Studies have also shown that people with periodontal disease are 3 times more likely to suffer a stroke.

Pre-Term Childbirth 
Women with periodontal disease are 7-8 times more likely to give birth prematurely to a low birth-weight baby.

Diabetes 
Periodontal infection can raise blood sugar in diabetic patients. Periodontal treatment often results in a reduced need for insulin.

Respiratory Disease 
Periodontal infection in the mouth can be breathed in and increase the severity of such respiratory diseases as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema.

Some Patients Are at Higher Risk

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:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Premature childbirth
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory diseases

Those patients having higher risk lifestyles, including:

  • Chronic stress
  • Smoker
  • Sedentary and overweight
  • Frequent colds, flu, etc.

Higher Risk Patients

If you have been told you have periodontal disease (or some of its symptoms) it is vital that you seek evaluation and treatment.