We may think of teeth and gum conditions as separate to the rest of the body. Why would bleeding gums cause heart attacks? Well, more and more research is showing a connection. Periodontal disease is a persistent inflammation of the gums and jaw bone which increases C-reactive protein; now considered to be more predictive of heart attack than high cholesterol and also implicated in colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to this, the chronic inflammation of periodontal disease causes a particular type of bacterium to be released into the blood stream and that has shown to increase diabetes and for pregnant ladies, premature, low birth weight babies. There also appears to be a connection to stroke, lung disease and osteoporosis. As the relationship between oral health and general health is further studied, it is likely that we find gum infections are the cause of, or contributing to many other general illnesses.