Links and Risks of Gum Disease

According to the studies made by American Heart Association, there is a strong relationship between gum disease and heart disease. Gum disease and heart disease share numerous common risk factors such as smoking, diabetes and age. These risk factors explain why often disease in the blood vessels occurs at the same time as disease in the mouth.

It is biologically reasonable to believe that oral bacterial infections could enter the bloodstream and contribute to the development of heart disease. “Certain bacteria present in the mouth may be related to clogging up the arteries by contributing to the plaque that builds on the walls of the arteries,” said New York University oral microbiologist Walter Bretz.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut Health Center issued a statement according to which treatment of gum disease or periodontal disease can improve in the long term the function of endothelial cells which form up a surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. It means tartar and plaque-free oral environment stimulates performance of endothelial cells and reduces the risk of heart attack.

According to a study published in New England Journal of Medicine, as many as 80% of American adults have some form of periodontal disease, with up to 1% attributed to severe cases of periodontitis disease.

The swelling and bleeding of the gums are quite common among pregnant woman. Future mums react differently to the bacteria in the mouth due to the increased secretion levels of estrogen and progesterone. Several studies link gum disease to the risk of premature birth and may cause the babies be born underweight. There are also direct links between gum disease and diabetes – inflammatory periodontal disease may increase insulin levels.

This again underlines the importance of regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist’s office. Good oral hygiene is still important for overall health and more than just a pretty smile, healthy and clean gums and teeth a sign of overall health of the body.