RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERIODONTAL DISEASE

AND SYSTEMIC DISEASES

Recent studies have shown that there is a definite relationship between periodontal infections, and systemic diseases. Periodontal disease may also produce systemic effects in the body including an association with cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and premature, low birth weight babies.

PREGNANCY: It is possible that if you have periodontal disease and you are also pregnant, that you may be at risk for having a premature, low birth weight baby. We have known about many factors that contribute to mothers having babies that are born prematurely at a low birth weight. Those include- smoking, alcohol use, drug use and infections. We now have mounting evidence that periodontal disease is a new risk factor. Pregnant women that have periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. We do know that periodontal disease is an infection and all infections are cause for concern among pregnant women because they pose a risk to the health of the baby. If you are planning to become pregnant or are pregnant, be sure to include a periodontal evaluation with Dr. Vravick, as part of your prenatal care. Healthy gums lead to a healthier body and a healthy baby.

HEART DISEASE: It is possible that if you have periodontal disease, you may be at risk for cardiovascular disease. We have known for a long time that bacteria may affect the heart. Evidence is now mounting that suggests people with periodontal disease, may be more at risk for heart disease, and have nearly twice the risk of having a fatal heart attack, than patients without periodontal disease. More research is necessary to confirm how these bacteria affect your heart. One possibility is that periodontal bacteria enter your blood through inflamed gums and cause small blood clots that contribute to clogged arteries. Another possibility, is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease contributes to the buildup of fatty deposits inside heart arteries. One out of every five Americans has one or more types of heart disease. For this reason, a periodontal examination by Dr. Vravick is so important for your general health.

RESPIRATORY DISEASE: It is possible that if you have periodontal disease, you may be at risk for respiratory disease. We have known that people that smoke, are elderly, or have other health problems that suppress the immune system, are at increased risk for the development of respiratory disease like pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. We do know that infections in the mouth, like periodontal disease, are associated with increased risk of respiratory infection. For this reason, a periodontal examination by Dr. Vravick is so important for your general health.

DIABETES: There is a two-way relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes. Research suggests that periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when your body functions with a high blood sugar. As a diabetic, you know that this puts you at increased risk for diabetic complications. Therefore, controlling your periodontal disease may help you control your diabetes. If you are among the nearly 16 million in America who live with diabetes, or if you have a family history of this disease, you need to see Dr. Vravick for a periodontal examination.

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