Could Gum Disease Lead to Respiratory Infection?

Jan 23rd, 2013 | By | Category: Gum Disease, Oral Health

gum_disease_fresnoIf you are a patient or regular reader of ours, then you are probably aware that gum disease is a serious chronic disease that can threaten more than the health of your gums. While gum disease is the number one cause for adult tooth loss in America, the disease can also endanger the integrity of your jawbone and increase the risk of many chronic systemic illnesses. Fresno dentists, Dr. Alex Denes and Dr. Claudia Denes, expound upon this oral-systemic connection by explaining how one study suggests gum disease can increase your risk of developing certain respiratory infections.

Germs and Gum Disease

The theories behind the oral-systemic connection are numerous and cover a large number of seemingly-unrelated diseases. One common theme, however, involves the introduction of bacteria into your body. Gum disease typically begins when dental plaque gathers on your teeth and gum line. Bacteria, which contribute to plaque formation, irritate your gums and cause them to swell, bleed, and pull away from your teeth. Diseased oral tissue can offer a convenient way for bacteria to enter your bloodstream and travel throughout your body, further exemplifying the importance of treating dental issues as early as possible.

The Microscopic Connection

Respiratory infections such as acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often begin when bacteria are inhaled into the lower respiratory tract. One study, published in the Journal of Periodontology, sought to determine whether there is a connection between bacteria-induced gum disease and bacteria-related respiratory infections. The results of the study, which examined 100 hospitalized patients with respiratory infections and 100 healthy participants with no history of lung troubles. The researchers observed that the hospitalized patients also had significantly worse gum health than their healthy counterparts, suggesting a relationship between gum disease and their respiratory infections.

Oral and Overall Health in Fresno

To learn more, or to seek treatment for gum disease, contact your Fresno dentists by calling Fresno Dental Studio at (559) 297-1800. Located in the 93720 area, we proudly serve patients from Fresno, Clovis, Mendota, Orange Cove, Reedley, Selma, and the surrounding areas.

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