Periodontal disease is an inflammatory infective disease affecting the supportive tissues around the teeth, which leads to tooth loss. Today it is known that it is also involved in the development of general systemic diseases.
Periodontal disease and heart and blood vessel conditions:
Arteriosclerosis is the main cause for heart disease and blood vessel conditions. People suffering from severe periodontal disease are at double the risk of developing heart and blood vessel conditions compared to those not suffering from periodontal disease. It is believed that constant exposure to bacteria in the pockets can cause pathological changes such as thickening of the vessel walls, which encourages Arteriosclerosis. Platelets may combine and attach to the sides of the vessels in blood vessels around the heart and brain.
Periodontal disease and diabetes
Periodontal disease and diabetes are both characterized by an increased inflammatory reaction. Diabetics are more prone to develop periodontal disease than healthy people. Unbalanced diabetes increases the likeliness of periodontal disease. Chronic periodontal disease can affect the metabolic balance by raising insulin resistance and increasing blood sugar levels. Furthermore, successful periodontal treatment can help balance diabetes.
Periodontal disease and osteoporosis:
Several studies have shown a connection between a reduction in bone density as a result of osteoporosis and periodontal grip loss and tooth loss.
Both diseases are characterized by bone resorption. Osteoporosis can also be a risk factor in the development of periodontal disease, though the process tying to two together remains unclear.
Periodontal disease and pregnancy complications:
There is a proven connection between periodontal disease and pregnancy complications, such as premature birth or underweight.
Periodontal disease can lead to bacteria penetrating the blood stream and shifting of the placental barrier which can cause an intrauterine infection.
Furthermore, it has been proven that periodontal treatment during pregnancy has reduced the odds of premature birth and underweight.
Periodontal disease and heavy smoking
Periodontal disease and respiratory diseases:
The layer of bacteria in periodontal disease can lead to the development of respiratory disease, especially in patients hospitalized in the ICU.
These patients cannot upkeep their dental hygiene and so bacteria make their way to their lungs. Improving dental hygiene can dramatically reduce the risk of respiratory complications.
Periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis:
Bacteria in plaque are involved with increasing the autoimmune reaction typical of rheumatoid arthritis. Large amount of anti-bacteria antibodies were found in the synovial fluid of patients with arthritis. Periodontal disease may have a direct involvement with the autoimmune inflammatory reaction, though many questions still remain as to the exact process.
Periodontal disease and pancreas cancer:
A few studies show a link between periodontal disease and pancreas cancer. Chronic periodontal disease may encourage the growth of abnormal cells by avoiding the immune system. Gastric acid may be triggered due to nitrosamines nitrate from the gastric bacteria flora together with helicobacter pylori.
Periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s:
Alzheimer’s involves different infection and risk factors related to blood vessels. Bacteria may speed up the inflammatory reaction together with increased oxidation and damage to blood vessels.
It’s been found that the periodontal state of Alzheimer’s patients is poor, though it should be taken into consideration that when dementia begins there is a decrease in dental hygiene until gradually motor skills are lost.
Several processes are possible in the development of Alzheimer’s from a periodontal origin: pathogens spread to the brain through nerve paths such as the trigeminus, inflammatory molecules from the gum tissue enhance inflammation in the brain, and it is also thought that the two diseases have a common gene.
Despite these facts, many more studies are needed to define the connection between the two diseases.
Periodontal disease and obesity
There is a direct connection between periodontal disease and obesity, and two known measures – Waist-Hip Ration and Body Mass Index (BMI) – both increase as periodontal disease increases.
It should be noted that obesity sometimes affects motor skills and so hygiene can be compromised. It is believed that fat is used to fuel chronic infection. Many other studies are on their way and more discoveries are expected.
Periodontal disease is a tough oral disease responsible for tooth loss, but beyond this, it also risks the patient’s general health and contributes to the development of cardinal diseases.