Several research studies have suggested that periodontal disease is connected to variety of other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists believe that inflammation may be the basis for the link between these systemic diseases. Recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.
DIABETES AND PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.
People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. People who have poorly controlled diabetes are especially at risk.
Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways – periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications.
Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. Research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease. Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Dr. Britten and your cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one recent study people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.
Researchers have suggested that there is a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. Studies suggest that osteoporosis may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports the teeth may be decreased, which means the teeth no longer have a solid foundation.
Research has found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease.
Researchers found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.