Periodontitis Isn't Just A Dental Problem: 3 Shocking Complications

8 April 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Periodontitis is an infection of the gums in the mouth, leading to inflammation, loosened teeth and bad breath. While it's tempting to consider periodontal disease as a dental condition and nothing else, periodontitis is actually a very serious condition that can contribute to several systemic illnesses and other health problems. To avoid these four potential health complications, attack periodontitis early and often with great oral hygiene and aggressive treatments like Perio Protect.

Heart Disease

Scientists aren't 100 percent sure why, but they have observed a strong relationship between periodontal health and heart disease. People with periodontal disease are more than twice as likely to have plaque build-up on their arteries, putting them at much higher risk of heart attack. Some of the relationship is probably just coincidental--people with poor diets tend to develop heart disease and are also more likely to have dental problems. However, strong evidence suggests that either the bacteria that cause periodontitis or the inflammation the disease causes directly contribute to risk of heart attack. The lesson? Maintain great oral hygiene to protect your heart.


Researchers have long understood that diabetes makes periodontal disease much worse, but new evidence shows that the periodontitis actually makes diabetes worse, too. According to the National Institutes of Health, diabetic patients with periodontal disease have a much harder time controlling their blood sugar levels than patients without periodontal disease. Consequently, periodontal patients are two to three times more likely to suffer from renal failure than diabetics without the disease.

Respiratory Disease

The link between respiratory illnesses like bronchitis and pulmonary pneumonia and periodontal disease is surprisingly clear. Periodontitis patients are much more likely to develop severe respiratory tract infections and they're much more likely to die from them. The likely explanation for this relationship is that periodontitis creates a cozy habitat for aggressive bacterial species in the mouth. Over time, breathing through the mouth draws enough bacteria into the lungs to spark an infection.

The science is clear--periodontal disease isn't just a dental condition. It affects your entire body and can even provoke fatal complications. Fortunately, effective, non-invasive treatments for periodontal disease are available. A great example is Perio Protect, a treatment system using customizable dental trays to deliver cleaning solution and medicine directly to the source of the infection. The treatment practice destroys bacterial colonies in the gums and allows your body heal, sealing up the nooks and crannies that allowed the infection in the first place. If you're suffering from periodontal disease, don't wait for the problem to get worse. Contact your dentist, like Hurst Family Dental, to ask about Perio Protect today.