Ask a Complete Health Dentist: How Does Gum Disease Affect Your Health?

Ask a Complete Health Dentist: How Does Gum Disease Affect Your Health?

August 7, 2021

Aside from tooth decay, gum disease is another condition that can result from neglecting proper oral hygiene. Unfortunately, the effect of poor oral hygiene does not stop in the oral cavity. Every system in the body is interconnected, and developing gum disease can have a negative impact on your general health. Studies have shown a strong link between periodontal disease and health conditions such as diabetes and heart issues.

Effects of gum disease on health

The mouth contains millions of bacteria, which are mostly harmless. When someone fails to clean their mouth, the bacteria will keep multiplying, causing tooth decay and gum disease. With good oral hygiene, the body can keep the activities of these bacteria to a minimum. Otherwise, the infection that starts from the teeth and gum can get into the bloodstream and spread to other areas of the body. The following are some of the health issues linked to gum disease:

Cardiovascular disease

Although scientists are still exploring the precise role that gum disease plays regarding heart diseases, the link is evident. There have been suggestions over time that gum disease can increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions in healthy people. The theory is that the inflammation resulting from gum disease may be behind the line. Studies have also shown that people with preexisting heart diseases can be at risk of complications if they develop gum disease.


Scientists have also uncovered a link between gum disease and suffering a stroke. Although the correlation, like cardiovascular conditions, is still not evident, studies have discovered that people who suffered a stroke were more at risk of an oral infection than those who have not experienced a stroke.

Diabetes and gum disease

People who have been diagnosed with diabetes are at higher risk of developing gum disease than those who have not. Diabetes weakens the body’s immune system, making it more vulnerable to infection. Those who do not have diabetes under control are more prone to developing gum disease. Further research shows that the situation goes both ways. Gum disease can make it harder for diabetic patients to regulate their blood sugar levels since severe gum disease tends to cause a spike in blood sugar.

Osteoporosis can cause jawbone loss

Osteoporosis contributes to bone deterioration in the body, including the jaw bone. Jaw bone deterioration can cause teeth loss since that is what holds the teeth in place. As the jawbone weakens, the chances of tooth loss increase drastically. Loss of natural teeth can affect normal dental functions.

Respiratory disease

The harmful bacteria that cause gum disease may find their path to the lungs and cause severe respiratory illness. Bacteria in the mouth do not necessarily stay there.

In summary

You need to understand that caring for your oral health is part of full-body care. Gum disease is preventable with excellent oral and routine professional care from a complete health dentist. By booking regular dental appointments, the dental professional can examine your mouth for the initial signs of gum disease and provide prompt treatment if they suspect an issue.

Request an appointment here: or call Holger Dental Group at (952) 777-7006 for an appointment in our Minnetonka office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Gum Disease in Minnetonka, MN.

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