General Health and Periodontal Disease

General Health and Periodontal Disease

To ensure that you get the best care possible, we need to understand how your gum health can affect your overall health and vice-versa. Over the last 30 years, it has become more obvious that periodontal disease can affect your general health and that some medical conditions will affect your periodontal health.

Effect of periodontal disease on general health

Many studies have shown that untreated periodontal disease influences heart disease, lung problems, diabetes, pre-term low birth weight babies, and dementia. As such, it is very important to address active gum disease so that this effect on the general health can be reduced or removed.

Health-effecting gum disease

There is evidence that certain medical conditions may play a role on the health of your gums or even present their first signs/symptoms in the mouth. Examples include:

  • Uncontrolled diabetics often have poor gum health.
  • Puberty and pregnancy can show increased redness bleeding and swelling of the gums.
  • Some medications can lead to an increase in gum tissue that can make the gums look lumpy.
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  • Skin conditions may first appear in the mouth with alterations in the appearance of the gum tissue.
  • Autoimmune conditions may present in the mouth with dryness, redness, ulceration, or pain.
  • Certain cancers can present in the mouth with ulcers, swelling, bleeding, and/or redness.

What other factors may be relevant?

Two other key factors that are relevant are the effect of smoking on gum health and possibly the effect of stress.

Smoking is a well-known serious problem for your gum health. It has been shown time and again to have a negative effect on your oral health. There is an increase in severity of gum disease, a decrease in response to treatment, and it is an absolute contraindication for some procedures. It is also one of the main factors in developing oral cancer.

Stress may also prove to be an issue for overall periodontal health and success of treatment but the evidence behind this is weaker. There is at least one periodontal condition that is stress-related, but this is generally quite easy to correct.


Due to our years of experience and training, we take all this information seriously. You can rely on us to provide you with clear explanations about your situation and relevant health implications so that you can make informed decisions that are right for you and your oral and general health.

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