Over 47 percent of the U.S. adult population aged 30 years and older have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 Tooth decay and gum disease are slow, progressive problems; you don't wake up one morning and suddenly need all your teeth pulled. At regular appointments, dental professionals can detect warning signs, help you prevent the diseases if you're at risk and catch them in their early stages – before they do major damage to your mouth, health and wallet. Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and:
Atherosclerosis and Heart Disease — Gum disease or periodontal disease (also called periodontitis) may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. It also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
Stroke — Gum disease may increase the risk of strokes.
Premature Births — Women who have gum disease during pregnancy are less likely to go to full term with their pregnancy, and also are more likely to have lower birth weight babies. read more →
Diabetes — Diabetic patients with periodontal disease may have more trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetic patients with healthy gums.
Respiratory Disease — Bacteria involved in gum disease may cause lung infections or worsen existing lung conditions. This is particularly important for elderly adults in institutions such as nursing homes. In this group, bacteria from the mouth may reach the lungs and may cause severe pneumonia.
Courtesy of: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and Colgate