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Total-health connection; The affects periodontal disease has on the body

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

The American Dental Association and the American Medical Association have agree'd that there is a very strong correlation between your mouth and the overall health of your body.

You may think that bleeding gums, cavities, dry mouth or fungal infections may seem like a dental issue, but often times they can clue your dentist to check for more serious systemic problems such as heart disease, diabetes, HIV, leukemia and/or other health issues.

Here are just a few of the common oral health issues that can have an affect on the body.

Periodontal Disease and its affects on the body:

Periodontal disease, or what you may know as Gum Disease, occurs when bone deterioration around the teeth leads to the loosening and eventual loss of the tooth. The bacteria that creates this disease can travel through the bloodstream causing respiratory problems, pancreatic cancer and even coronary artery disease.

The biggest issue with periodontal disease is that only 3% of those that have it will actually feel comfortable discussing it with their dental team and receiving proper treatment. While that may not seem like a big deal, the Journal of Periodontology says that those patients who don't receive periodontal care often see a 21% increase in total healthcare costs.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease:

Ninety-five percent of U.S. adults with diabetes also have periodontal disease in which 1/3 of those have led to tooth loss. Diabetes can also lead to increased oral infections which can lead to further health complications and make it harder to control your blood sugar. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes contributes to 230,000 deaths each year. Not only are diabetics more likely to have gum disease, but periodontal patients are more likely to develop diabetes.

Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease:

Pregnant women should be diligent about flossing and brushing to prevent extra plaque buildup. Periodontal disease has been associated with preterm delivery and low birth weights. All of which can be prevented with proper home dental care and routine dental visits.

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