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Is There Any Connection Between Gum Disease & Overall Health?

Posted on May 7, 2012 | in Gum Disease | by

Gum disease is much more common than we might think, and it can lead to major health problems like diabetes and heart disease.

It has been reported that 3 out of every 4 Americans have signs of mild periodontal disease or gingivitis.

And despite some conflicting reports of late that if you’re not following you probably don’t care enough to track down links anyway, we now have several reasons to believe that the health of our teeth and gums may have a significant effect on the overall health of our bodies.

We’re not saying direct causality here – whatever that means, we’re just transmitting the dental health info.

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Beyond all the three blind mice this or heavily relied upon uncontrollable control groups that, one fact is consistent among supporters of an oral systemic connection and scientific skeptics alike – more research is needed.

Unrestricted communication and efficient information sharing is needed to ensure that ultimately we the dental patients can trust what we see when a well-respected media entity or even industry association publishes dental health information.

And for that matter, the scientists conducting the research can also rely upon the media to accurately portray the objective oral health news.

When in doubt, as dental patients we can also ask our dentist too!

The issue is probably way more complex than we understand, but as dental patients shouldn’t any possible links between gum disease and other systemic health problems be simple for our dentists to explain?

They shouldn’t be restricted from doing so, nor should our local dental health heroes suffer the consequences of bad dental press once again.

In a rapid shift of gears in more ways than one while still attempting a graceful dental segue..who hasn’t heard about the Polish dentist that removed all of her ex-boyfriends teeth in one sedated vengeful swoop?

Back to the gum disease oral overall health argument – why is it an argument again?

Recent scientific literature suggests a strong relationship between oral disease and other systemic diseases and medical conditions.

Emerging research links periodontal disease to other health problems including heart and respiratory diseases; preterm, low birth weight babies; stroke; osteoporosis; and diabetes. (Source: American Academy of Periodontology)

For some more interesting oral health vs. overall health insights, check this out:

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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