Periodontal disease is life threatening


Almost everyone is well informed that good oral health measures prevent the formation of cavities and any gum infections. But what else does good oral health affect and prevent?

Preventative oral healthcare is comparable to maintenance. A car needs attention such as oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid levels check. A house needs renovation and looking after such as leaking pipes, changing the ventilation filters, etc. Every constituent contributes to the efficient functioning of the whole system.

Infections initiate inflammation in a restricted area of the human body. If that inflammation is left unattended, it might persist for a prolonged period of time that will furthermore, directly affect the body’s immune system.

Periodontal disease encompasses inflammatory infections of the gum and bone that surrounds and supports the teeth. Poor oral health can contribute to poor overall systemic health if not dealt with promptly. A number of heart episodes are known to be caused by a bacterial infection that initially began as oral inflammation.

Oral inflammation predisposes a person to the following conditions:

  • 168% more likely to develop heart disease


  • 200% more likely to develop osteoporosis


  • 250% more likely to have a stroke


  • 300% more likely to develop diabetes


  • 500% more likely to develop a respiratory disease


  • 700% more likely to have a low birth weight baby

The reported statistics are serious and alarming considering the costs of treating ailments and achieving generally good quality of life. Much like the contribution of hypertension (high blood pressure) to increase chances of a person having a stroke, periodontal disease is said to contribute to various conditions.

Periodontal disease is linked to a 6X increase in the rate of cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease. There is a 50% increase risk of COPD with periodontal disease. In nursing homes, there is a 60% increase in pneumonia if there is inadequate oral hygiene. Periodontal disease can result in complications during pregnancy. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is to related Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (Cancer), with primary evidence showing that periodontal disease and Human Papilloma Virus work together to Increase the risk of tongue cancer.

According to the results of a diabetes research, nonsurgical periodontal treatment or cleanings have been proved to show significant improvement in glucose control in patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes, with no medication or unwanted side effects.

Dentists are encouraged to always consider the mouth as a reflection of the overall health of the patient, his lifestyle, habits, medications, nutritional status, etc.

Inflammation is said to be equal to a 9-inch wound which is close to the size of one’s palm. A wound this size would not have been ignored for prolonged periods of time had it been located somewhere else on the body.

Oral health can affect your whole health system. Do not ignore inflammation.

May 13, 2017

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Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.