Periodontitis (or inflammatory gum disease) may affect various organ systems of your body. It has been documented that persons with pre existing periodontitis are at an increased risk of brain stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, besides their increased chances of having a heart attack, coronary artery disease and atherosclesosis (thickening of the vessel wall). Periodontitis also interferes with the clotting mechanism and predisposes to bleeding disorders.
Chronic periodontitis may generate an immune response which impairs the insulin function, leading to disrupted diabetic control. On the other hand, diabetes can also alter the pocket environment contributing to bacterial overgrowth. People with type II diabetes are 3 times as likely to develop periodontal disease than are non diabetics. Smokers with diabetes increase their risk of tooth loss by 20 times.
Gum disease predisposes an individual to increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory infections as the inflammation caused by periodontitis may contribute to inflammation of the lining of the lung airway. It may also lead to Reduction in bone mineral density (osteopenia) which is a precursor to osteoporosis. Women with advanced periodontal disease are more likely to give birth to underweight or preterm babies (rate being as high as 7.5 to 7.9 times). Gum disease increases the risk of Head and neck cancers. Also, the risk of pancreatic and kidney cancers increases by 62%
Therefore, maintaining your oral health not only protects you from bad breath, tooth ache and tooth loss, but is also a major factor in maintaing good overall general health….!!