New findings show many links between gum (periodontal) disease and other health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and ulcers. You must treat oral disease in order to maintain your overall health.
Diabetes is a disease where there is too much sugar in your blood. Insulin is a natural chemical that controls your blood sugar. People with diabetes have a higher risk of getting a mouth infection. These infections may affect your ability to process insulin. This makes your diabetes harder to control. Your gum disease will be more severe than a person’s without diabetes. Treatment may also be more difficult. If you keep your diabetes under control and take care of your mouth, you can receive successful gum treatment and keep your mouth healthy.
Healthy gums lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes. When your gums swell, germs from your mouth enter your blood. This causes more clots and fatty deposits in your blood vessels. If you treat gum disease, this will help you avoid these life-threatening diseases.
When you have gum disease, the germs in your mouth are the same as those that cause stomach ulcers. If these germs are uncontrolled, they will continually travel to the stomach. This causes re-infection and new ulcers.
To avoid gum disease and overall health complications, brush and floss daily to remove plaque from your teeth and gums, schedule regular dental visits for professional cleaning, and gum evaluations. Always tell your health professional your medical history and the current status of any health condition.
Garry J Bloch, DMD