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Gum Disease Can Affect General Health

Thursday, April 11, 2013   by: Dr. Biasucci

Periodontal disease otherwise known as gum disease can affect more than just your mouth. Dental professionals are on the forefront of not only keeping the oral cavity healthy but general health as well. Read below to see how your oral health can affect your systemic health.

 *Dementia/Alzheimers, the infection and inflammation of periodontal disease may be associated with cognitive decline and dementia.

*Respiratory Infections, inhaling bacteria from the oral cavity and throat can lead to pneumonia. Dental plaque accumulation creates a large source of bacteria that can be inhaled into the lungs.

*Osteopenia, reduction in bone mass is associated with gum disease and related tooth loss. Severity of osteopenia has been connected to tooth loss in post-menopausal women.

*Oral Cancer, chronic periodontitis may lead to the loss of bone and increased risk of oral cancer.

*Pregnancy complications, 50-70% of women will develop gingivitis some time during their pregnancy-a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. The increase of estrogen and progesterone levels during this time causes the gums to react in a exaggerated fashion to the bacteria in plaque and tartar. This reaction causes swelling, bleeding, redness and tenderness in the gum tissue. Gum disease during pregnancy can increase risk of delivering pre-term and low-birth weight babies.

*Cardiovascular Diseases. For those with periodontitis they may have an increased risk of stroke and/or fatal heart attack. Bacteria from the oral cavity may cause clotting problems in the cardiovascular system.

*Diabetes, chronic periodontal disease can disrupt blood sugar control. People with type 2 diabetes are three times as likely to develop periodontal disease than are non diabetics. Diabetes can alter the pocket environment contributing to bacterial growth. Smokers with diabetes increase their risk of tooth loss by 20X. Diabetes and periodontal disease are both chronic diseases which are directly interrelated-if you have one the chance of developing the other is high.

Regular flossing, brushing and professional care go a long way in keeping the oral cavity healthy! Prevention of  any disease is much easier and cost effective than treating an active or chronic infection or disease.

See your dental and health care providers on a regular basis to prevent disease!

For more information about oral disease prevention visit Northern Dental Care's website at

or call (705)575-7572 for more information!






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