How Oral Health is Linked to Your Overall Health

It is estimated that a total of 30% to 50% of all American adults have had at least mild or moderate gum disease, with up to 15% of these having a more serious case. Now, research has found that all forms of gum disease are linked to more serious health related illnesses including diabetes, respiratory diseases, osteoporosis, heart disease and pregnancy issues, among others.

One of the more problematic diseases linked to the gum disease ‘periodontal disease’ is diabetes, with approximately 95% of Americans having both. Periodontal disease increases inflammation and makes it more difficult to control diabetes. In turn, diabetes is known to aggravate dental diseases such as ulcers and tooth decay.

Gum disease increases blood sugar.

Gum disease has also been linked to respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. It is 4 times more likely that you will develop pneumonia if you have gum disease such as periodontal infection. However, treating the disease can decrease the risk of developing pneumonia.

Further, people with the gum disease are 3 times more likely to suffer a stroke and the inflammation of the gums can release bacteria into the blood stream that can contribute to clogged arteries. Diseases such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases) cause the blockage of airways and could lead to re-infection from diseased gum bacteria.

Gum disease can stimulate the release of a hormone called prostaglandin. This kick- starts labor and can lead to premature birth and low birth weight. Expectant mothers with gum disease are 7 times more likely to experience this.

Osteoporosis too is linked to health, with your jaws bone strength and durability seriously reduced by a high intake of alcohol and cigarettes. A balance diet including milk and vitamin D can help prevent this. The risk of tooth loss is 3 times greater in women with osteoporosis than those without.