“People think of gum disease in terms of their teeth, but they don’t think about the fact that gum disease is a serious infection that can release bacteria into the bloodstream. “
– Dr. Robert Genco, Editor, Journal of Periodontology
Oral Medicine is the study of the relationship between infections in the mouth (gum disease) and your systemic or general health condition. Chronic inflammation appears to be the connection between oral and systemic conditions.
Of great concern is the link between gum disease and diabetes. Not only are people with diabetes at 3 times greater risk of developing gum disease than non-diabetics, but untreated gum disease may also affect glycemic control.
At the present time, there is much research being done and mounting evidence to support the association between oral and systemic health. In addition to diabetes, gum disease has also been shown to have an association with the following systemic conditions:
- Heart Disease and Stroke
- Respiratory Disease
- Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes
- Certain Cancers