The Health Risks Of Periodontal Disease

Triad Dentistry Wants to Help You
Avoid Future Complications

Drs. Macdonald and Whaley want you to be completely aware of the possible health risks associated with periodontitis. When left untreated, the disease can be a major contributor to more serious health problems. Discover the relationship between gum disease and these different diseases to help you avoid any future obstacles.


Healthy gums play a vital role in maintaining a healthy body. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection and can easily enter the bloodstream and travel to other major organs. This can lead to new infections in other areas of the body, including the heart which is one of the most susceptible organs.

Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques of fatty materials on their inner walls. Periodontal disease can influence the occurrence and severity of coronary artery disease and increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.


Diabetic patients tend to have a higher incidence of periodontal disease, more severe levels of bone loss and infection, and often experience acute episodes of more aggressive disease activity, ultimately leading to tooth loss.

Living with permanent gaps in your smile can make it difficult to chew and digest food. This can have a devastating effect on the ability to maintain proper nutrition and control blood sugar levels.

Alzheimer’s Disease

No matter where bacteria travels to in the human body, the immune system will respond by sending white blood cells to battle it. These white cells release chemicals that create an inflammatory response. The inflammation can then damage tissues in the brain which can increase a patient’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Preterm or Low Birth Weight Babies

Women whose periodontal disease worsens during pregnancy are at a higher risk of having a premature or low birth weight baby. Pregnant women who have had periodontal disease may be up to seven times more likely to have a baby who is born too small and too early. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that women considering pregnancy should include a periodontal exam as part of their prenatal care.

Respiratory Disease

Bacterial respiratory infections can be acquired by inhaling tiny bacteria-filled droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs. Once the bacteria are in the lower respiratory tract, they multiply causing infections or worsening existing lung conditions like pneumonia or bronchitis. The greater the number of bacteria that are left in your mouth without continuous oral hygiene, the greater the risk for respiratory problems you’ll become susceptible to.

Frequently Asked Questions

How dangerous is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease can be dangerous if you let it progress without seeking treatment or attempting to stop its spread. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, and even rheumatoid arthritis.

Your health can be seriously affected by the presence of periodontal disease. Undergoing treatment from a professional may be able to reverse your periodontal disease and help you keep your smile and your health.

Can you die from periodontitis?

You can die from complications related to periodontitis. Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and strokes. Your health may be seriously affected if you don’t seek treatment for periodontal disease.

Once your gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, it becomes more difficult to treat and requires professional help. If your gums bleed or hurt when you brush your teeth, we highly recommend seeing a dentist for help.

What conditions are associated with periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is associated with:

  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Attacks
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Kidney Disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Asthma
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer

If you notice your gums bleeding or it’s painful for you to brush and floss, you could require treatment for periodontal disease. If your condition has passed the gingivitis stage, you likely won’t be able to reverse the disease without professional help.

Discover Treatment
Before Your Infection Progresses

Don’t allow your gum disease to worsen and harm your overall health and well-being. Our Triad Cosmetic Dentistry team can quickly eliminate your risk for further complications if you come in during your early stage of periodontal disease. Schedule your appointment today if you’ve noticed your teeth have become more sensitive or your gums are bleeding when you brush and floss. It’s easy to prevent your oral infection from damaging your body.