Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease. When plaque starts to grow below the gum line, toxins are produced by the bacteria present in plaque and the body’s immune system will start to release chemicals to fight the bacteria. However the combined body’s chemicals and bacteria present, can damage the bone and other tissues that hold the teeth in place. When this happens pockets form between the gums and teeth. As this progresses, the pockets get deeper and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. This can then cause the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.
Patients suffering from diabetes should practice good dental hygiene. It is common for adult patients with diabetes to develop gum disease as they are more susceptible to catching infections. There is also research that gum disease could make it harder to control blood sugar.
Bacteria that is produced by periodontal disease or gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to the arteries in the heart. This can cause atherosclerosis. This is the hardening of the arteries due to plaque formation on the inner walls. What this does is restrict the blood flow throughout the body and could even cause blockages and lead to a heart attack. The inner lining of the heart can also become infected and inflamed a condition known as endocarditis.
When bacteria from gum disease enters the bloodstream and reaches the lungs, it can cause respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Over a long time it is also possible for this to happen by inhaling bacteria from the infected teeth.
There is some research that suggests the oral bacteria may spread to the brain through the blood stream or cranial nerves that connect to the jaw and contribute to the type of plaque that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Difficulty in conceiving
Women with gum disease took 2 months longer to conceive than women without gum disease according to the studies done in Western Australia. Also other research found that pregnant women with gum disease might have a higher chance of miscarriage.