Is There a Connection Between Gum Disease and Systemic Diseases?

woman showing her gum is inflamed

It is no secret that oral health is closely related to general health, and gum disease may be indicative of diabetes, heart disease, unfavourable pregnancy outcomes (i.e. low birth weight, premature birth) and osteoporosis. These systemic diseases affect many organs and tissues and decrease the body’s ability to repel inflammation.

Over the years, many studies have shown that there is a connection between systemic diseases and gum disease. In Perth, various dentists, including Elite Perio, focus on prevention and various treatment modalities in patients with systemic diseases and gum disease in Perth.

What is gum disease?

Scientifically known as periodontal disease, gum disease describes the inflammatory process that affects the gums as a result of the accumulation of bacteria. Gum disease is divided into two stages – gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis refers to the early stage of the disease, whereas periodontitis is associated with the later stages of the disease. Gingivitis is more prevalent among adults and involves symptoms such as redness, swelling, inflammation of the gums and frequent bleeding. This condition can be reversed with timely intervention and a thorough oral hygiene routine. Periodontitis, on the other hand, can lead to the destruction of the tissue supporting the teeth and tooth loss, if not properly treated.


Due to their elevated blood sugar rates, diabetic patients are more likely to develop gum disease in Perth. Moreover, people with diabetes are more susceptible to infections and, in some cases, gum disease is considered a complication of diabetes. The relationship between gum disease and diabetes is complicated and diabetic patients with gum disease may find it more difficult to control their blood sugar.

Heart disease

Some studies have shown that gum disease is also associated with heart disease. While a clear relationship has not been proven yet, research suggests that gum disease intensifies the risk of heart disease. More alarmingly, untreated gum disease can affect the outcome of existing heart conditions.

Other conditions

Osteoporosis can also cause gum disease, due to the bone loss in the jaw and in rare cases gum disease can also cause respiratory disease such as pneumonia. Last but not least, gum disease is also associated with premature birth and low birth weight.


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