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5 Health Conditions With Links To Gum Disease

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Brushing and flossing affect the health of your teeth and gums. By keeping periodontal disease at bay, brushing and flossing affect your overall physical well-being. Connections between gum disease and other health conditions may cause you to rethink your dental care. Here are five conditions that can be exacerbated by periodontal disease:

1. Erectile Dysfunction

Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream through pockets that form at the gum line of people who have periodontal disease. Once they are in the blood, the bacteria can become affixed to plaque on arterial walls, further constricting blood flow to the penis.

Findings from an Israeli study show that men with gum disease are more apt to have erectile dysfunction. In fact, only about 2 out of 100 men without erectile dysfunction who have chronic gum disease. On the other hand, 15 out of 100 men with erectile dysfunction display the signs of periodontal disease.

2. Cancer

Gum disease can increase the level of inflammation in the body, and inflammation is often a precursor to cancer and other diseases. Studies show that men with periodontal disease have about a 50 percent greater risk of kidney cancer, a 30 percent greater risk of blood cancer and a 54 percent greater risk of pancreatic cancer.

3. Pneumonia

Bacterial pneumonia is caused by bacteria that infect the lung tissue. The overgrowth of bacteria that is present in the mouth of people who suffer from gum disease can migrate to the lungs during inhalation, causing respiratory infections. Due to the close proximity of the mouth to the lungs, pneumonia caused by oral bacteria can be serious because it often affects the lower regions of the lungs.

4. Diabetes

Diabetes predisposes periodontal disease by making your body more susceptible to infection. However, once gum disease progresses, it incites an inflammatory response that makes it difficult for you to maintain stable glucose levels.  The outcome for diabetes patients with coexisting periodontal disease can be lethal.

5. Stroke

People with severe periodontal disease have higher risk of stroke. Research indicates that people with severe gum disease are over four times more likely to have a stroke than people with mild or no gum disease.

The connections between gum disease and other serious health conditions can be surprising. However, these links remind you to take the best possible care of your teeth and gums. If you have not visited a professional dentist recently, like Michael C. Cordora DDS, PLLC, schedule an appointment. Your overall health could be at risk.