It has been shown by research studies that there is a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications, and respiratory diseases, as well as a strong link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease.

A periodontal disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gum tissue, the presence of periodontal infection below the gum line, and the presence of disease-causing bacteria in the oral cavity.  It is important to halt the progression of periodontal disease by maintaining excellent oral hygiene standards, as this will not only reduce the chances of gum disease and bone loss, but will also reduce the chances of developing other serious afflictions in the future.

The following are some of the most common cofactors associated with periodontal disease:


According to a research study, people who are diabetic or who have pre-existing diabetic conditions are more likely to have, or to become more susceptible to, periodontal disease due to their pre-existing diabetes conditions.  The level of blood sugar can be raised as a result of periodontal disease, making it difficult to control the amount of glucose in the blood, and ultimately resulting in diabetes.  The presence of this factor alone can increase the risk of serious complications associated with diabetes.  Furthermore, diabetes thickens the blood vessels and makes it more difficult for the mouth to rid itself of excess sugar because it thickens the blood vessels.  Gum disease is caused by oral bacteria breeding in excess sugar in the mouth.

Heart Disease

Heart disease and periodontitis have been linked in several theories that explain how the two diseases are linked.  According to one theory, the oral bacteria which exacerbate periodontal disease attach themselves to the coronary arteries when they enter the bloodstream, and this contributes to the occurrence of periodontal disease.  In turn, this results in the formation of blood clots as well as a narrowing of coronary arteries, which may lead to a heart attack.

The second possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease causes a significant build-up of plaque in the mouth.  Pre-existing heart conditions may be aggravated by this condition, which can swell the arteries.

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