Can Gum Disease kill you?
You may not think of gum disease (periodontal disease) as something that could affect your entire body, but it can, and often does. Periodontal bacteria can–and does–migrate from your mouth to your bloodstream, and from there can cause a number of additional health problems. Recent studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a heart attack; 3.0 times more likely to suffer a stroke; and, if you’re a woman of child-bearing age, 7-8 times more likely to give birth prematurely to a low birth-weight baby. Research using DNA testing has found that periodontal bacteria can be transmitted from parent to child and spouse to spouse. Periodontal infection can raise blood sugar in diabetic patients.
The Good News
Treatment of periodontal disease often results in a reduced need for insulin. In summary, periodontal disease is no longer thought of as just a dental problem. Research is finding many correlations between periodontal infection and serious medical problems.