Alzheimer’s Disease Aside from periodontal disease being the leading cause of tooth loss, the inflammation it causes may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that the periodontal bacteria that cause infection also cause gum inflammation that may lead to neurodegeneration and brain inflammation. In the future this research may confirm that periodontal disease is one of the preventable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.
Periodontal disease causes harmful inflammation in the body and has been identified as the most common chronic inflammatory condition worldwide. New studies show there is no direct link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, however good oral health is important to overall health, and daily brushing and flossing is still recommended. Clients who are at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental treatment due to the oral bacteria that enters the blood stream during dental procedures.
People living with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease because they are more vulnerable to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Those people who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk. Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, making it difficult to regulate blood sugar levels. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for other diabetic complications.
HIV/AIDS often causes sore bleeding gums, painful herpes sores in the mouth and oral yeast infections.
Low-birth weight/pre-term labor
Hormone-like chemicals called prostaglandins are responsible for inducing labor when the fetus is ready to be born. Periodontal disease also produces high levels of prostaglandins. With a woman’s body already producing this horomone-like substance in preparation for birth, the amount produced by the gum inflammation can get to a critically high level, inducing pre-term labor. Pregnant women with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that’s born too early and too small.
Oral bacteria from periodontal disease can be inhaled into the lower respiratory tract. These inhaled bacteria can create an infection in the lungs, which can cause new respiratory diseases as well as worsen existing ones. Among the most common of such illnesses are bronchitis and pneumonia. Researchers also found a link between periodontal disease and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) as well as emphysema.
While research is still ongoing, there does seem to be a relationship between osteoporosis and periodontal disease. Estrogen deficiency affects all the bones in our body, even our jaw bone. Most common in pre and post menopausal women, declining estrogen levels ( in combination with gum disease) increase the rate of oral bone loss. Low mineral bone density is also to blame for osteoporosis and combined with gum disease, inflammation causes bone structure to break down faster, affecting the stabilization of teeth.