In addition to the consequences in dentistry such as tooth loss, scientists have linked periodontal disease to a number of other conditions and illnesses. Because periodontal disease is an infection, it is a serious problem if left untreated.
Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease. While the connection is not yet fully understood, gum disease is a great predictor of heart disease. Both conditions are inflammatory and though it is a chicken and egg dilemma because we do not know which causes which, gum disease is a visible and noticeable risk factor for heart disease and can be a warning of a larger underlying issue.
People with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease and now research is showing that the reverse may also be true. While more studies are needed, the link in undeniable. If you have diabetes, you may need extra care to keep your gums healthy. Be sure to let us know if you are diabetic so that we can help you be extra diligent in maintaining your dental health.
Gum disease has been linked to other conditions such as osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer. That is why is so important to maintain proper dental health and to report any conditions you feel have changed inside your mouth.