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New research suggests that periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can have a serious impact on certain health conditions, as well as your teeth and gums.

Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gum tissue caused by the excess buildup of bacteria and plaque. Recent studies have found an association between the inflammation of the gums and serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer. While periodontal disease has not been found to be a cause of these conditions, they do seem to have a relationship to each other.

According to, diabetics are more likely to develop periodontal disease. This is especially true for people with uncontrolled blood sugar. Diabetes tends to make it harder for the body to fight infection, thus making it easier for bacteria to develop a foothold in the gum tissue.

The relationship between periodontal disease and stroke is less understood. Several studies have found that people with heart disease have a higher instance of gum disease. It is speculated that some of these cases might be related to tobacco use and its negative impact on oral health. People with certain types of heart disease may also require antibiotics before and after some dental procedures.

Other studies have found that middle-aged males with gum disease were more likely to develop kidney, and pancreatic cancer, as well as certain types of blood cancers. Research is continuing to explore the relationship between gum disease, systemic inflammation and overall health.

You can reduce the chances of developing gum disease by brushing at least twice a day, flossing once daily and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings. Give us a call today at 708.469.6006 to schedule your next appointment!