Periodontitis is an infection that is not just a cause of tooth loss, but is also linked to other systemic diseases that affects an individuals overall health.
The bacteria that is in dental plaque have positively been linked to:
- Inflammation of the lining in your blood vessels: This could lead to constriction of your arteries, ultimately leading to a Heart Attack or Stroke! Cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of death, worldwide accounting for 29% of all Deaths.
- Endocarditis is a potentially fatal disease in which the actual lining of the heart becomes inflamed.
- Lung problems: Scientists have found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be drawn into the lung to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease. This discovery leads researchers to believe that these respiratory bacteria can travel from the oral cavity into the lungs to cause infection.
- Diabetes: Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications. Thus, diabetics who have periodontal disease should be treated to eliminate the periodontal infection.
- Low Birth weight Babies or Birth Defects: For a long time we’ve known that risk factors such as smoking, alcohol use, and drug use contribute to mothers having babies that are born prematurely at a low birth weight. Now evidence is mounting that suggests a new risk factor – PERIODONTAL DISEASE. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small.