Poor periodontal health can have negative impacts on the body’s overall health. Similarly, certain health conditions in the body can have a negative impact on oral health. When it comes to periodontal disease & health issues, our body’s systems are intrinsically linked, and it may be necessary to understand these connections in order to treat an ailment in the periodontal environment and vice versa.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE AND SYSTEMIC DISEASES
Osteoporosis & Rheumatoid Arthritis
These arthritic conditions can lead to bone loss. A link has been suggested between rheumatoid arthritis, and the condition of periodontal bones, and osteoporosis and the loss of bone density in the mouth. If these forms of arthritis compromise or cause deterioration of the jawbone, the teeth lose their supportive materials. Having a compromised foundation of bone can lead to tooth loss and make conditions difficult for implants.
The bacteria that causes periodontal disease does not necessarily remain within the oral cavity. These toxic particles can be breathed in (aspirated) to the lungs, causing respiratory diseases like pneumonia.
Recent studies suggest a correlation between gum disease and various types of cancer. Men with gum disease were at a 54% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer, a 49% higher risk of developing kidney cancer, and a 30% higher risk of developing blood cancers.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE & HEALTH ISSUES (HEART)
One in five Canadians has heart disease. Although the exact cause is not yet know, there is a substantiated correlation between periodontal disease and heart disease and even storke. People with periodontal disease have a higher risk of heart disease, and twice the risk of heart attack. Mounting evidence suggests that the bacteria associated with poor oral hygiene can affect the heart and exacerbate existing heart conditions. It is possible that the bacteria from the mouth enters the blood through inflamed gums and causes small clots that clog arteries. Additionally, the inflammation associated with gum disease may contribute to an accumulation of fatty deposits in the heart arteries. If you have a heart disease or periodontal disease, it is important to inform all of your doctors of your treatments. Some heart conditions may require the use of antibiotics before periodontal work can be safely completed.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE & SMOKING
Smoking has been linked to cancer, heart disease, lung diseases and now periodontal diseases. In smokers, there are more instances of calculus formation on the teeth, leading to deeper gum pockets, greater bone loss, and deterioration of the fibers that help hold teeth in place. The toxins in tobacco smoke and other chemicals like tar and nicotine, hamper the efficiency and predictability of the mouth’s healing processes. Chewing and smokeless tobaccos lead to a increased risk of developing oral cancer. While regular smoking leads to increased risk of: tooth staining, mouth sores, bad breath, gum recession, bone loss, tooth loss, heart disease, cancer, lung disease. Smokers have less successful periodontal treatment, but all of these risks and obstacles are drastically reduced if the patient quits smoking.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE & DIABETES
People with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease. In fact, periodontal disease is considered one of the complication of diabetes. Because diabetics are more susceptible to infection, they are more likely to develop an infection of the mouth. Those who do not have their diabetes under control are at greater risk. An infections will affect a diabetics ability to process insulin, making it even more difficult to maintain their blood-levels and control symptoms. Periodontal disease in diabetics is often more severe than in cases of non-diabetics. Maintaining control of diabetic symptoms, however, will all decrease the incidence of cavities.