Gum Disease And The Links To Serious Illness

Gum Disease And The Links To Serious Illness

Possible links between gum disease and potentially life threatening illnesses.

In today’s blog, we are taking a look at some of the serious illnesses that gum disease has been linked to from a number of studies that have taken place.

It should be stated that, to date, this has not been strictly proven, but, increasingly, research is indicating that there is a strong possibility that there may indeed be causal links.

Preventing gum disease has always been a prime consideration for our patients here at the Foxhall Dental Practice for oral health reasons, but these new findings should encourage us further to look after our gums, as well as our teeth, on a regular daily basis.

Heart problems

A number of studies have claimed that there appears to be a link between gum disease and coronary problems. Whilst a definitive explanation of the reason for this has not yet been given, it is thought that the bacteria present in gum disease may enter the bloodstream and attach to the plaque in the blood vessels, causing inflammation. This can increase the risk of clots in the blood which may potentially lead to a heart attack.


A number of studies have shown a potential link between gum disease and dementia. These studies are in their early stages and cannot therefore be said to be proven. Dementia however, is an increasingly common problem and the least that we can do to help prevent it is to make sure that we keep our gums healthy, if indeed a link is established.


Whilst there are no current links indicating that cirrhosis is more likely in people with gum disease; anyone who has this illness may be interested to hear that research has indicated a higher mortality rate in cirrhosis sufferers who have gum disease. The study is ongoing and research currently being done into whether improving oral health care can improve the outcome for patients who already have cirrhosis of the liver.

These are just three of the more serious illnesses that gum disease, and especially advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, has been linked with. Even if these links are not yet proven, they do offer additional reasons to look after our gums as a precaution. Even without these links though, advanced gum disease can lead to tooth loss and the need for artificial replacement teeth.

To help ensure that you have healthy gums, you should visit the hygienist at our Ipswich dental practice on a regular basis. A regular scale and polish will help to ensure that any tartar is removed from the teeth and gum line, helping to prevent the onset of gum disease.

To arrange an appointment with the dentist or hygienist at the Foxhall Dental Practice, please call us on 01473 258396.