PERIODONTAL DISEASES AND SYSTEMIC HEALTH
Periodontal diseases are responsible for the loss of your teeth but now well-documented studies have shown that it can also affect your systemic health. There is a proven correlation between periodontal disease and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, pre-term and low birth weight babies as well as chronic respiratory diseases.
People with diabetes are two to three times more likely to develop periodontal disease compared to healthy individuals and often it is a more severe form of disease. Interestingly, we also know that non-treated periodontal disease can negatively impact the glycemic control in diabetic patients.
Bacteria responsible for periodontal disease can travel and deposit themselves on arterial plaques. Over a lifetime, the cumulative exposure of these pathogens may augment the risk of atherosclerosis and thrombosis, and, indirectly, create signs of cardiovascular disease.
There is increasing evidence that osteoporosis, and the underlying loss of bone mass characteristic of this disease, is associated with periodontal disease and tooth loss. Some explanations for this association may be an underlying low bone density in the oral cavity, bone loss as an inflammatory response to infection or genetic susceptibility.
PRE-TERM AND LOW BIRTH WEIGHT BABIES
The presence of periodontal disease in a mother-to-be is an important risk factor, among others like smoking, alcoholism, socio-economic status and age, in the increased incidence of pre-term and low birth weight babies. Treatment of the periodontal condition in pregnant women decreases the incidence of pre-term, low birth weight deliveries by a factor of five.
The sites of periodontal infection in the oral cavity are reservoirs for the bacterial pathogens implicated in respiratory infections. There appears to be a constant exchange of the bacteria in the mouth and the respiratory passages. Controlling periodontal infections will also improve your chances of maintaining excellent overall health.