Ask a Periodontist: How Gum Disease Can Be Linked to Overall Health?

Ask a Periodontist: How Gum Disease Can Be Linked to Overall Health? from Charles E. Dyer IV, DDS, MS, PC in Cypress, TXA periodontist works with patients to reduce the risk of gum disease and treat any concerns promptly. This can reduce the risk of overall health conditions (or impact the conditions have on the rest of the body). This overview from a periodontist explains the correlation between gum disease and overall health.

A periodontist explains the link between gum disease and overall health

The development of gum disease can increase the risk of general health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and more. It is helpful to understand this correlation and how to prevent gum disease and thus reduce the risk of poor overall health and the development of certain conditions.

Gum disease and diabetes

Diabetes that is not adequately controlled can restrict blood flow. This can affect the gums and lead to gum and jawbone damage. Diabetes may also increase blood sugar levels, which can then increase the risk of developing gum disease. In addition, gum infections that can result from gum disease can have a negative impact on diabetes as well. Therefore, gum disease prevention and prompt treatment are important for patients that are diagnosed with diabetes.

Gum disease and heart health

Gum disease may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. While studies are not conclusive about this correlation, there is a lot of research that supports the notion that gum disease can have a negative impact on heart health. One likely reason for this is that bacteria from infected gums could enter the bloodstream and affect the overall circulatory system, which could increase the risk of atherosclerosis and other heart-related conditions.

Other conditions that are linked to gum disease

Other conditions that gum disease may increase the risk of include stroke, kidney disease, osteoporosis, asthma, and Alzheimer's disease. In fact, there is believed to be a possible link between gum disease and over 100 conditions. Of course, it is important to point out that these possible (and in some cases likely) correlations do not mean that gum disease can cause these other conditions. Instead, it suggests that gum disease could increase the likelihood of general health problems, especially with conditions that are related to the flow of blood.

How to help prevent gum disease

The good news is that gum disease is preventable even for those who are at higher risk of developing the condition (e.g., people with diabetes). A periodontist can put together a gum disease treatment and prevention plan that may include a deep dental cleaning, regular periodontal cleanings, and an oral care routine at home.

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The bottom line

Are you concerned about your risk of gum disease? Reach out to our dental office today by phone or message to schedule a visit. During your first visit, we can evaluate the status of your periodontal health, address any symptom concerns you have had recently, and put together a treatment and prevention plan to minimize the risk of gum disease and the consequent effect it could have on your overall health.

Request an appointment or call Charles E. Dyer IV, DDS, MS, PC at 281-213-0900 for an appointment in our Cypress office.

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