Bacteria associated with periodontal disease have been linked to other serious health risks.
In July of 1998, the American Academy of Periodontology launched an effort to educate the public about new findings which support what dental professionals had long suspected: Infections in the mouth can play havoc elsewhere in the body.
Since July of 1998, evidence has continued to mount to support these links. While more research needs to be done to say definitively that people with periodontal disease are at higher risk for developing heart disease, stroke, uncontrolled diabetes, preterm births and respiratory disease, periodontists do know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, and all infections are cause for concern.
Periodontal bacteria can enter the blood stream and travel to major organs and begin new infections. Research is suggesting that this may:
- Contribute to the development of heart disease, the nation’s leading cause of death.
- Increase the risk of stroke.
- Increase a woman’s risk of having a preterm, low birthweight baby.
- Pose a serious threat to people whose health is compromised by diabetes, respiratory diseases, or osteoporosis.