Book your consultation TODAY! 020 8987 9977

Appointment Enquiries

« Return to News list

Periodontal disease and its links with general health

Posted by Default Admin on 5 September 2014 | 0 Comments

Many people are unaware of the fact that most of us have some form of gum disease, and that it is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. However, the rate at which the diseasedevelops varies for each person and can be slowed down to a rate that should allow you to preserve and keep most of your teeth for life.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is advanced gum disease, which occurs when gum disease (gingivitis) is left untreated.

Inflammation around the tooth causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming spaces called pockets,which become infected.

The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If left untreated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth start to disintegrate. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed and replaced with dentures or dental implants which can also be costly.

How does it affect your general health?

Recent studies suggest gum disease may contribute to or be a warning sign of potentially life threatening conditions such as the following:

  • Studies suggest that gingivitis may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke because of the high levels of bacteria found in infected areas of the mouth. As the level of periodontal disease increases, the risk of cardiovascular disease may increase with it.


  • People with diabetes often have some form of gum disease, which is likely to be caused by high blood glucose. People with diabetes are advised to take extra care when brushing and flossing to prevent the advancement of gum disease. Regular check-ups and cleanings with your dental hygienist are also recommended.


  • Research in a study by Case Western Reserve University, suggests that people without any natural teeth are more likely to have chronic kidney disease than people with natural teeth. The disease affects blood pressure, potentially causing heart disease, contributes to kidney failure, and therefore affects bone health.


  • Studies also suggest that babies born before 37 weeks of gestation could face health complications. Research suggests that women with periodontal disease are three to five times more likely to have a baby born preterm compared to women without any form of gum disease.


Main causes of periodontal disease include:

  • Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease and can alsoprevent the chances of successful treatment for periodontal disease sufferers.
  • Many people may be unaware of this, but hormonal changes in girls and women can make gums more sensitive and make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Research suggests thatdiabetes sufferers are at higher risk of developing infections, including gum disease.
  • Diseases like cancer or AIDS and their treatments can affect the health of gums
  • Medicines can cause abnormal overgrowth of the gum tissue; this can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean.
  • Genetics plays a huge part in gum disease as some people are more prone than others.


What can I do to prevent this?

Unfortunately, not everyone can prevent gum disease from happening; however, makinghealth and lifestyle changes should helpdecrease the risk, severity and speed of gum disease.

  • Stopping smoking
  • Reducing stress
  • Maintaining a well-balanced diet
  • Avoiding the clenching and grinding of teeth


Who can I talk to about it?

If you have poor general health or think that you may have the onset of gum disease, give the team a call or pop into the practice and we can advise you on the best treatment available for you. Alternatively you can call the Dental Health helpline on 0845 063 1188.

Post your comment


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments