Yes, Periodontal Disease is Correlated with Diabetes, Heart Disease, and More

Periodontal disease (or gum disease), is a troubling problem in and of itself. People dealing with this issue often suffer from bleeding of inflamed gums, and in some cases, their teeth may become loose as pockets form in the gums. But there’s another reason why periodontal disease is concerning: it can be correlated with other major health problems.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the ailments correlated with periodontal disease.

Heart Disease

While causation has not been proven (periodontal disease has not been proven to cause heart disease, or vice versa), it has been shown that there is a correlation between periodontal disease and heart disease. That means that if you have one, it is more likely that you have (or will have) the other. The link between the two diseases is suspected to be inflammation, but again, causation has not been proven. As the leading cause of death, heart disease should be taken seriously and monitored closely.


Similarly, there is a correlation between periodontal disease and strokes. According to the American Academy of Periodontolgoy, “In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.”


Diabetics are typically more likely to get infections in general, so it makes sense that people with diabetes may also suffer from periodontal disease. Similarly, people with gum disease may find it harder to control their blood sugar, leading to potentially severe problems if they are diabetic. This two-way relationship means that both diabetics and people with gum disease should be well aware of possible complications, and, along with their doctor and dentist, keep a close eye on their symptoms
The correlation between periodontal disease and these other diseases means that you should be aware of the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, so that you can address them with your dentist and/or physician.
Some typical warning signs include:

  • Gums that bleed easily, or are swollen/red
  • Receding gums
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Teeth coming loose without explanation
  • Chronic bad breath

You may or may not feel pain with periodontal disease. Don’t wait to feel pain to bring it up with your dentist.
If you take proper care of your teeth and gums, you are less likely to develop periodontal disease. One important step in proper tooth/gum care is visiting your dentist regularly. At Smile Concepts, we thoroughly check for signs of periodontal disease during regular cleaning visits. We also educate our patients on proper tooth and gum care, and provide deeper cleanings for those at risk of periodontal disease.
To discuss these options or to learn more about our periodontal services in Scottsdale, give us a call at 480-951-2800. We look forward to helping you.