Research shows that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease as well as aggravates existing heart conditions. Studies have additionally pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke.
Periodontal disease is often a complication of diabetes. Research suggests that severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar in diabetics. Several studies also show that by getting gum disease under control, diabetics have reduced their blood glucose levels by as much as 10%.
Studies have found that bacteria in the mouth can be transmitted to the lungs, causing respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. Gum disease can also worsen chronic inflammation in conditions such as asthma or COPD.
Gum disease can also contribute to other systemic diseases like cancer. Researchers have found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.
Let’s not forget the huge effect that gum disease has on the gum’s related structures: the teeth and jawbone. Chronic gum disease causes the gradual breakdown and destruction of the ligaments and bone that support the teeth. Eventually, teeth can become loose and have to be extracted.