While it may seem that taking care of your teeth and gums only affects your mouth, this is not the case. Your oral health is an integral component of your overall health and wellbeing. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, has been linked to several serious health conditions. In addition to causing tooth loss, bone loss, and receding gums, periodontal disease may be connected to serious illnesses. Research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with:
- Heart disease – Patients who suffer from periodontal disease have a higher likelihood of suffering from heart disease. In fact, periodontal disease can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Respiratory disease – The bacteria that cause periodontal disease may cause or worsen respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and emphysema. These bacteria may also lead to inflammation in the lining of the lungs.
- Pregnancy complications – Women who suffer from periodontal disease may be a higher risk for preeclampsia and for delivering premature, underweight babies.
- Diabetes – Patients with pre-existing diabetic conditions may be more susceptible to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, in turn, can increase the risk of serious diabetic complications.
To learn more about periodontal disease and the connection between your mouth and body, we encourage you to contact our dental office today. Our knowledgeable dentist, Dr. Laura B. Ousley, is happy to help you better understand the mouth-body connection in Oklahoma City and Guthrie, Oklahoma.