Is there a link between periodontal disease and overall health?

Periodontal or gum disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and the supporting tissues of the teeth, it is the result of the interaction between bacteria in the mouth and the body’s response to the bacteria.

Studies have demonstrated a relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease; people with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease and research trials show that treating periodontal disease can stabilize the glucose status in diabetic patients.

Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease may increase the risk of heart disease.

Recent data indicates that if you have increased inflammation in your mouth, you may have increased inflammation elsewhere in your body. The signs visible at your dental exam may be related to possible systemic concerns. Research regarding the link between oral health and systemic disease is ongoing, it is clear though that maintaining optimal oral health is an important component of overall health.