In the past decade, there has been a considerable increase in the amount of research on the connection between oral health and bodily health. The level of research time dedicated to studying this connection is due to the latest figures, which show that people with serious gum disease are 40% more likely to suffer from another chronic condition as well. It’s important to known which medical conditions are linked to oral health. In this blog, we’ll examine the connection through several conditions.
It’s now been proven that inflammation within the mouth can weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar. This reduction in blood-sugar level control can lead to the development of diabetes in those patients who were previously healthy. The link between periodontal disease and diabetes is further highlighted by the fact the high blood sugar then provides the ideal conditions in which gum infections can emerge. Many diabetes patients find that, once they get their gum disease under control, their diabetes symptoms begin to subside. While the connection between the two conditions is still being investigated within the medical field, it’s important that those with both gum disease and diabetes understand the risks and speak with a specialist about any symptoms they’re experiencing.
It has been proven that 91% of people with heart disease have periodontitis. This compares with 66% of people without heart disease. The two conditions are linked by several risk factors – including smoking, excessive weight and an unhealthy diet. Many leading medical professionals also suspect that inflammation in the mouth causes inflammation in the heart. It’s the reason that researchers are looking more closely at the importance of regular teeth brushing on heart health, as the connection between the two becomes ever clearer.
A recent medical study has found a link between dementia and periodontal disease for the first time. Researchers have found the presence of products of Porphyromonas gingivitis in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s. These products enter the bloodstream through daily brushing activities and may trigger an immune response from brain cells, causing the cells to kill-off healthy neurons. Researchers suggest that this could be one of the mechanisms that leads to the changes in the brain found in patients with Alzheimer’s.
It’s important to remain informed on the latest links between common medical conditions and oral health. As the research continues within the oral care community, patients must speak with their local area specialists about any symptoms they have been experiencing that could indicate a larger medical issue. To learn more, book an appointment to speak with a Pickering Square Dental specialist today.