Research in recent years has shown that periodontal disease is connected to diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, complications in pregnancy, and other medical conditions. At SoCalSmiles Dental Office, we take care to be aware of this mouth-body connection and provide our treatments with the intention of helping improve your overall health, and not only your oral health. For more information and to schedule your appointment with our dentists in Tarzana, California, please call us at 818-345-5286.
Individuals with pre-existing diabetic conditions are more likely to contract gum disease. Periodontal disease can increase blood sugar levels, making it difficult to control the glucose in your blood. Additionally, diabetes thickens blood vessels, making it difficult for the mouth to get rid of excess sugar, which creates a breeding ground for disease-inducing bacteria.
There are several theories about the link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. One is that the strains of bacteria that cause gum disease attach themselves to coronary arteries, leading to blood clot formations and the narrowing of the arteries, culminating in a heart attack. The other is that the inflammation of periodontal disease caused by plaque build-up can worsen pre-existing heart conditions.
Women are generally more susceptible to gum disease due to hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Pregnant women who have gum disease are more at risk of preeclampsia, and of delivering premature and underweight babies. Gum disease increases the levels of labor-inducing chemicals in the body, and elevates types of proteins that amplify the inflammatory responses of the body, increasing chances of preeclampsia.
Oral bacteria can be drawn into the lower respiratory tract by normal breathing patterns, and can cause bacterial infections. Inflammation in gum tissue can lead to severe inflammation in the lining of the gums, aggravating pneumonia and chronic respirator issues.
To learn more about the mouth-body connection and periodontal disease, please contact our practice and make your appointment with one of our knowledgeable dentists.