Gum Health and Systemic Diseases (Diabetes and Heart Attack)


Gum Health and Systemic Diseases (Diabetes and Heart Attack)


We at Apple Tree Dental want our clients to have a healthy smile. This compiled article helps explain gum health and systemic diseases.

The oral cavity, being considered as “the intersection of dentistry and medicine” and “the window to general health,” contains some of the most varied and vast flora in the human body and is the main entrance for two systems vital to human function and physiology, the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. Therefore, specific infections in the oral cavity may create foci of infection that may affect systemic health

The Connection Between Oral Health And Systemic Diseases

“Your mouth is the entry point of many bacteria,” said Dr. Steven Grater, Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) member.“ To keep this bacteria from going into your body, cleaning your mouth (brushing, flossing and rinsing) is necessary.”
People with diabetes are more prone to several oral health conditions, including tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, dry mouth and infection. According to “Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General,” the relationship between type I and type II diabetes and periodontal disease has often been referred to as the “sixth complication” of the disease.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. In diabetics, it is often linked to how well a person’s diabetes is under control. Diabetic patients should contact their dentist immediately if they observe any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, including red, swollen or sore gums pulling away from the teeth; chronic bad breath; teeth that are loose or separating; pus appearing between the teeth and gums; or changes in the alignment of the teeth.
Diabetic patients often suffer from dry mouth, which significantly increases their risk. They may recommend chewing sugarless gum or mints, drinking water, sucking on ice chips, or using artificial saliva or oral rinse.
Studies have shown that periodontal disease may be linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, preterm births and low-birth-weight babies. Research suggests that people with periodontal disease are nearly three times as likely to suffer from heart disease. Oral bacteria can affect the heart when it enters the bloodstream, attaching to fatty plaques in the heart’s blood vessels and forming clots.
Approximately 80% of infective endocarditis cases are caused by the bacteria streptococci and staphylococcus. The third most common bacteria causing this disease is enterococci and, staphylococci.
Due to the increase in hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, pregnant women are at greater risk of developing inflamed gums, which, if left untreated, can lead to periodontal disease. For example, a five-year study conducted at the University of North Carolina found that pregnant women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to deliver a premature, low-birth-weight baby.
Oral health problems can cause more than just pain and suffering. They can lead to difficulty speaking, chewing and swallowing, affecting your ability to consume the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy, participate in daily activities and interact with others. Poor nutrition also can lead to tooth decay and obesity.
To Keep Your Teeth, Gums And Body Healthy, Pda Recommends The Following:

  • First, provide your dentist with a complete health history, including any illnesses and medication use.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to help remove plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that get stuck between your teeth and under your gums.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and professional cleaning to help prevent any problems and detect possible problems in their early stages. In addition, the mouth is often the location used to diagnose various diseases.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, which will help you maintain a healthier immune system, help prevent heart disease and slow diabetes disease progression.
  • If you smoke, talk to your dentist about options for quitting.

Oral Health Implications Of Hypertension

  • Xerostomia: potentially causes extensive tooth decay, mouth sores, oral infections, difficulty in swallowing and glossodynia. Thiazide diuretics, α-/β-blockers, angiotensin-converting-enzymes inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers increase the risk of xerostomia.
  • Gingival hyperplasia: a side effect of Nifedipine, Diltiazepan, Verapamil, and Amlodipine (calcium channel blockers) used to treat hypertension. In severe cases, surgical removal of tissue may be required.
  • Mucosa lesions: such as lichenoid reactions, may also be caused by several hypertensive medications.


We hope that this article has been helpful. Check back frequently for other oral health tips here at Apple Tree Dental.

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Article Reference links:

  1. Why Does a Dentist Need Medical History to … – eyeSMILE.
  2. Oral health: A window to your overall well-being – ACTIV ….
  3. The Role of Oral and Dental Foci in Systemic Diseases ….
  4. The Connection Between Oral Health and Systemic Diseases.
  5. Why is Oral Health important even for systemic diseases ….
  6. Oral health: A window to your overall well-being – ACTIV ….
  7. Why Does a Dentist Need Medical History to … – eyeSMILE.
  8. Why Does a Dentist Need Medical History to Clean My Teeth ….

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