Gum disease is linked to several serious health issues that include:
While the periodontal disease has been linked to heart problems, the impact of oral health on a person’s overall health is still unclear. However, some UK and Irish health experts suggest that it could be the contamination of the blood as the bacteria in the mouth finds its way into the bloodstream via bleeding gums. The discoveries are being presented at the General Microbiology Society’s meeting.
A study was done in Scotland that includes over 11,000 people found that those who didn’t brush their teeth twice daily were at a greater risk of having heart disease than those that did. The findings supported the suggested link though researchers still stress the need for further studies and analysis on the nature of the relationship.
Poor oral health may increase the chances of developing blood sugar problems, especially diabetes. The bacteria may affect the body’s ability to control sugar levels in the blood leading to diabetes. Research on this issue shows that periodontal disease negatively impacts a person’s metabolism that then distorts the production of insulin resulting in pre-diabetes.
Also, it is hard for a diabetic to effectively manage the condition if they have poor oral health and hygiene. The infections associated with the gum disease cause a spike in blood glucose levels and this triggers the body to produce more insulin.
Low birth-weight babies
The birth of babies with a low weight is another concern linked to the gum disease. According to findings on the effects of oral infection during pregnancy, it causes swelling or inflammations and these can cause complications during pregnancy or delivery. It can have the baby born with a low weight or a preterm birth. Moreover, the body may start a natural response to the inflammation producing inflammatory chemicals that may cause the amniotic sac to rupture. Research was done that estimates around 15% of cases of premature births were associated with the periodontal disease affecting the amniotic fluid and sac.
Oral cancer which is ranked as the sixth deadliest cancer in the world is yet another big health issue associated with gum disease and poor oral health. Over 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed yearly, and around 40% of these result in death. According to statistics, a person battling with this cancer dies ever hour; this makes it deadlier than skin, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, thyroid, and cervical cancers.