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I just read an article that linked periodontal disease in postmenopausal women to an increased chance of developing breast cancer than those without gum disease.  This is another huge discovery linking gum disease to many serious health problems.  I’d like to write a quick blog on the health conditions that are known to have links with gum disease.

Heart Disease

The massive increase in inflammation in the body from periodontal disease may be the main factor linking it with heart disease.  And gum disease can make existing heart problems worse.  More surgeons are now making sure their patients have healthy or stable gum disease status before they operate on them.

Stoke

More people who have had strokes had more oral infections from gum disease.  Again, there are studies that strongly suggest there is a close link with these problems.  If you’re in a high stroke risk category make sure you treat gum disease aggressively.

Diabetes

Diabetic patients are much more likely to develop periodontal disease which then can strongly increase blood sugar and increase diabetic complications.  So, if you have diabetes just be aware that you’re very likely to get gum disease if you don’t aggressively try to control it.  And if you do end up with gum disease, your diabetes will be much more difficult to control.

Osteoporosis

If you have osteoporosis, because of the weakening of the density of the jawbone, you may be at a higher risk of developing gum disease.  Which can then turn to eventual bone loss.  So please make sure that if you have osteoporosis that you really focus on gum health.

Respiratory Disease

Research has also linked the bacteria that grow in our mouth can be aspirated into the lungs and cause respiratory disease such as pneumonia.

Cancers

Research has shown that men with gum disease had a 49% higher chance to develop kidney cancer, 54% higher risk of pancreatic cancer and 30% increase in developing blood cancers.  And as mentioned above certain women may have a 36% increased chance of developing breast cancer.

 

There are plenty more conditions that gum disease can be related to that are less serious than these listed above but the main point is that gum disease is a very serious problem and should be aggressively treated and regular home care should be emphasized to prevent it.  Make sure you’re using good tooth brushing techniques and brushing for at least 2 minutes focusing on the gums too.  Electric toothbrushes like the Sonicare can really help too.  And regular dental checkups and cleanings are also critical to help detect and prevent gum disease.  Getting your gums measured once a year is a good idea.

If you already have gum disease, look at my link to Periodontal Disease to look at some possible treatments.  If you have early stages of gingivitis or even early periodontitis make sure you take it very seriously and take the steps to stop the disease process.  Your body will thank you!