Oral Systemic Links

Many medical conditions are directly affected by the health of your mouth. See below to find a condition and learn more about it's systemic link to dental health and what it could mean for you.

...and more to come!

High Blood Pressure

Definition

A common condition in which the force of blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems such as heart disease. Blood pressure is determined both by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries,

How is it related to the mouth?

C-reactive protein levels are associated with future development of high blood pressure, which suggests that hypertension is in part an inflammatory disorder. The C-reactive protein is a marker of systematic inflammation that has been associated with an increased risk of incidents of heart attack and stroke. Oral inflammation has also been hypothesized to play a role in the development of hypertension, and cross-sectional evidence demonstrates higher C-reactive protein levels among those individuals with elevated blood pressure.

Supporting links:

www.heart.org

www.mayoclini.com

www.webmd.com

Cardiovascular Disease

Definition

Cardiovascular aka Heart Disease includes Aneurysm, Angina, Atherosclerosis, Stroke, Cerebrovascular Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Coronary Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction, and Peripheral Vascular Disease

How is it related to the mouth?

Some studies show that up to 50% of acute heart attacks are caused in part by oral infection! Several theories exist to explain the link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Oral bacteria can affect the heart when it enters the blood stream by attaching to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries and contributing to clot formation. This can in turn contribute to coronary artery disease and blockages, where clots form and obstruct normal blood flow, restricting the amount of oxygen and nutrients required for the heart to function properly. These conditions may set the stage for a heart attack. Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease.

Supporting links:

www.heart.org/heartorg/caregiver

www.periodontal.com

Stroke

Definition

An ischemic stroke (most common type) happens when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked, typically due to a blood clot. When the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or ceases, brain cells in that area begin to die. The result is the inability of the brain to carry out functions controlled by those cells, in many cases permanently.

How is it related to the mouth?

Studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people who were diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

Supporting links:

www.heart.org/heartorg/caregiver

www.medical.net

www.perio.org/consumer/mbc.heart

Alzheimer's Disease

Definition

A progressive neurological disease of the brain that leads to irreversible loss of neurons and intellectual faculties, including memory and reasoning. As the disease progresses, it can become severe enough to impede social and occupational functioning. 

How is it related to the mouth?

Studies have yet to yield conclusive results, but preliminary research suggests that exposure to inflammation early in life quadruples one's risk of developing this disease. An inflammatory burden early in life, such as chronic periodontal disease, might have severe consequences later on as a possible contributing factor to the development of Alzheimer's. If the link between inflammation and periodontal disease is confirmed, researchers say it would add the condition of inflammatory burden to the list of preventable risk factors for Alzheimer's.

Supporting links:

www.medicalnewstoday.com

www.mayoclinic.com/health/alzheimers-disease

www.ahaf.org/alzheimers

Diabetes

Definition

A metabolic disorder in which the afflicted person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate (Type 1), or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin (Type 2). 

How is it related to the mouth?

According to research:

  • Gum disease is considered the 6th most common complication of diabetes.

  • Uncontrolled Type 2 diabetics are at a higher risk for gum disease.

  • Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar.

  • Diabetics have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invades and infects the gums.

  • Diabetics are at an increased risk for developing thrush (fungal infection of the mouth).

  • Diabetes medications can cause dry mouth, a condition where less saliva is produced that effectively washes away germs and the acids germs create. This can contribute to gum soreness, ulcers, infections, and cavities,

  • Poorly controlled diabetes can cause slower healing and increase the risk of infection after dental surgery.

Supporting links:

www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323627.php

www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease-and-diabetes.htm

www.diabetes.org

Pregnancy

Definition

Pregnancy, also known as gestation, is the time during which one or more offspring develops inside a woman.

How is it related to the mouth?

Research has shown a link between uncontrolled periodontal disease and pregnancy complications such as premature labor and preeclampsia (abnormal rise in blood pressure). A study exploring the possible link between periodontal disease and preeclampsia found that 50% of the placentas from women with preeclampsia were positive for one or more periodontal pathogens. Another study examined the amniotic fluid of a test group of pregnant women, and identified bacteria most commonly found in the mouth and associated with periodontal disease.

Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease, which can affect the health of the developing fetus. Studies have shown that bacteria responsible for tooth decay can be passed from the mother to the child in utero. Pregnant women with acid reflux, which can occur more commonly during pregnancy, are also at higher risk for tooth erosion and other periodontal problems.

Supporting links:

www.medical-dictionarythefreedictionary.com

www.americanpregnancy.org

www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-care-pregnancy

www.disabled-world.com

www.whattoexpect.com

www.dentalhealthandwellnessboston.com

www.perio.org/consumer

Lung Disease

Definition

An ischemic stroke (most common type) happens when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked, typically due to a blood clot. When the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or ceases, brain cells in that area begin to die. The result is the inability of the brain to carry out functions controlled by those cells, in many cases permanently.

How is it related to the mouth?

Studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people who were diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

Supporting links:

www.mayoclinic.com

www.webmd.com/lung/lung-diseases-overview

Kidney Disease

Definition

An ischemic stroke (most common type) happens when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked, typically due to a blood clot. When the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or ceases, brain cells in that area begin to die. The result is the inability of the brain to carry out functions controlled by those cells, in many cases permanently.

How is it related to the mouth?

Studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people who were diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

Supporting links:

www.perio.org/consumer/kidney-disease

www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-kidney-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20354521

www.reuters.com/article/2008/ol/30/us-periodontaldisease-isUSCOL06971020080130

Colorectal Cancer

Definition

An ischemic stroke (most common type) happens when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked, typically due to a blood clot. When the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or ceases, brain cells in that area begin to die. The result is the inability of the brain to carry out functions controlled by those cells, in many cases permanently.

How is it related to the mouth?

Studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people who were diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

Supporting links:

www.cancer.org

www.emedicinehealth.com

www.webmd.com

www.medicaldaily.com

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Definition

An ischemic stroke (most common type) happens when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked, typically due to a blood clot. When the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or ceases, brain cells in that area begin to die. The result is the inability of the brain to carry out functions controlled by those cells, in many cases permanently.

How is it related to the mouth?

Studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people who were diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

Supporting links:

www.arthritis.org

www.everydayhealth.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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