Gum disease and its links to other conditions

There is nothing as irritating as having gum disease. Gum disease not only causes you to have bad breath but also can cause lots of health problems. If you have gum disease, you can visit a dentist. Many Monterey gum disease dentists will do a gum evaluation and X-ray and decide on the right treatment for you. Not taking care of your teeth and gum may play a part in the progression of other systemic diseases. Here are some of the diseases to look out for.

Heart disease

Several studies show that gum and teeth disease may increase the chances of getting heart disease. However, that doesn’t mean that every person with periodontal disease has heart disease and vice versa.

The link between gum diseases and heart problems may be caused by bacteria. The bacteria in the affected gum can find their way to the blood supply. When bacteria find their way to the heart, they can cause inflammation or tissue damage.  


People who have diabetes have a higher chance of getting periodontal diseases. They’re more susceptible to getting infections because their immune systems are weaker than healthy people.

Also, people with severe gum disease have higher glucose-linked hemoglobin that affects blood glucose. People with diabetes have trouble controlling the inflammation and blood sugars induced by periodontitis, thus exposing them to diabetic complications.


Although the relationship between cancer and gum disease is not common, some studies show the link between pancreatic cancer and periodontitis. This is commonly caused by bacteria called Treponema denticola. Researchers have found that this bacterium commonly appears in gastrointestinal system tumors.

The T. denticola enzyme helps the Treponema denticola to invade the gum tissue. This enzyme also activates other enzymes to promote the growth of cancer cells which may spread to other healthy tissues.

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is prevalent in men over 40 years. The condition can be caused by psychological and lifestyle factors. However, some studies show the relationship between chronic periodontitis and erectile dysfunction. Gum disease and erectile dysfunction share the same risk factors, including diabetes and smoking. A study published in 2016 suggests that physicians should refer erectile dysfunction patients to consult their dentists for evaluation and treatment.

Inflammation caused by gum disease can spread through chemical messengers, impacting other parts. Inflammation can promote endothelial dysfunction, which prevents vasodilatation. However, the research is not conclusive, and more large-scale reviews are needed.

Lung Diseases

Lungs and mouth share a common gateway making it easier to link chronic periodontitis and respiratory diseases. Inflammation caused by gum disease may reduce respiratory function. For example, if the tubes carrying the air to the lungs are inflamed, they narrow down, thus restricting airflow.

Alternatively, the bacteria in the affected gum can move down to the lungs. Afterward, the bacteria can trigger infections that cause inflammation.

Remember, scheduling an appointment with your dentist will prevent gum disease from playing a part in the progression of other systemic diseases. Also, taking care of your oral health will save you from getting gum disease. It’s advisable to visit your dentist if you have any systemic disease to determine whether it’s being caused by gum disease.

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