7 diseases you didn’t know could be related to your gum condition

Systemic conditions with connections to oral health include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer, among others

Gum Disease and Premature Birth

If you’re pregnant and have gum disease, you could be more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. Underlying inflammation or infections may be to blame. Pregnancy and its related hormonal changes also appear to worsen gum disease. Gum conditions could be a risk factor for premature birth. Talk to your obstetrician or dentist to find out how to protect yourself and your baby.

Gum swelling and Heart disease

Swollen gums are the main symptom of gum disease. However, in the case of periodontitis, the gum infection develops below the gum line, a cause for concern for people with heart disease. Because that bacteria can now travel throughout your body via the many vascular pathways in the mouth, including those that lead back to the heart. In other words, the more bacteria you have in your mouth, the more bacteria you could have in your heart. Experts agree that if you address your oral health, you may decrease the number of bacteria that could be present in your heart.

Treating Gum Disease May Help RA

People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are eight times more likely to have gum disease than people without this autoimmune disease. Inflammation may be the common denominator between the two. Making matters worse: people with RA can have trouble brushing and flossing because of damage to finger joints. The good news is that treating existing gum inflammation and infection can also reduce joint pain and inflammation.

Pale Gums and Anemia

Your mouth may be sore and pale if you’re anemic, and your tongue can become swollen and smooth (glossitis). When you have anemia, the red blood cells in your blood don’t contain enough hemoglobin. As a result, your body doesn’t get enough oxygen. There are different types of anemia, and treatment varies. Talk to your doctor to find out what type you have and how to treat it.

Gum Disease and Diabetes

Diabetes can reduce the body’s resistance to infection. Elevated blood sugars increase the risk of developing gum disease.  Gum disease can make it harder to keep blood sugar levels in check. Protect your gums by keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Brush after each meal and floss and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily. See your dentist at least twice a year. Sometimes you dentists may want to see you more often.

Gum disease and ischemic Stroke

Gum disease increases the risk of an ischemic stroke you also have severe periodontitis.An ischemic stroke is a type of stroke caused by a blocked blood vessel that gets blood to the brain. As the relationship with heart disease, the link between gum disease and stroke is the inflammation present for both and the hardening of the arteries that results from it. Experts agree that by preventing gum disease, you decrease the risk factor for certain types of stroke

Gum disease and breast cancer

Women who have gum disease have an 14% overall increased risk of breast cancer over women who don’t have gum disease. The percentage jumps to over 30% if the woman smokes, or has smoked in the past. More research is needed to see if there is a connection between the inflammation gum disease and the development of breast cancer.

 

There is a relationship between the gum disease and these diseases, even if it’s limited to the fact that people who have gum disease tend to have an unhealthy lifestyle that contributes to these conditions.

The good news is that moderate to severe periodontal disease is treatable. If you currently suffer from one of these systemic conditions, ask your dentist if you are at risk for gum disease and what treatment is right for you.