Gum Disease and Systemic Health Problems

periodontist downtown Los Angeles

Many people do not  know just how important your oral and gum health are. They are integral to your overall health and well-being. Our bodies are made up of systems that all connect to one another, so one area can greatly affect another. Who knew your gums and your heart were closely bound? What about your gums and your lungs? We will explain the connection between gum disease and other systemic diseases and health problems to help you understand the extreme importance of gum health. To get a more in-depth education on your gum health, consult the top periodontist in Los Angeles, Dr. Kao.

What ties all of these together? Recent research suggests that inflammation might be the link tying these common diseases together. Treating your inflammation can help manage all of these issues and chronic conditions. Research shows that periodontal disease associates itself with numerous other ailments and diseases like heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer. Because of the extreme nature of these ailments, it’s really important to understand their connection, and take care of your oral health accordingly.


Diabetes is often linked with gum disease, and the relationship between the two goes both ways. Poor oral health and gum disease may make it difficult for diabetic people to manage and control their blood sugar, while having diabetes makes the body more likely to contract infections. This mutually negative relationship makes diabetics a common candidate for gum disease, so if you are diabetic, it is very important to be vigilant about the health of your gums and teeth, and to contact a dentist if you notice any irregular appearance, pain, or sensitivity.

Heart Disease

Multiple studies have shown the relationship between periodontal disease and heart disease. While the definitive source of this relationship has not yet been proven, the research pretty definitively proves the relationship and increasing risk of heart disease for those with gum disease, and it’s often thought that the inflammation that gum disease causes could be the connecting factor. Gum disease could also make existing heart conditions worse.


The connection between osteoporosis and gum disease has been theorized by researchers for a while. Research suggests that the link is between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw, which often leads to tooth loss because the teeth lose their solid foundation.


Research is not conclusive on the connection between gum disease and cancer, but according to the American Academy of Periodontology, men with gum disease were 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, 30% more likely to develop blood cancer, and 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer.

Respiratory Disease

Bacteria that grows in the oral cavity can aspirate to your lungs and cause respiratory diseases like pneumonia. This is particularly prevalent in people who are already suffering gum disease. When gum disease is present, inflammation is too. Inflammation makes your body more vulnerable to likely to fall ill.

Though gum disease will not definitively lead you to other, more dangerous diseases, the possibility exists. This emphasizes the importance of good oral hygiene and health. The importance of reaching out to a health professional and expert in periodontics to help you with whatever your issues may be.

Periodontist in Los Angeles

As the top periodontist in Los Angeles, Dr. Kao takes pride in being your trusted resource for periodontics and dental implants. We aim to help you regain your confidence and personalize your oral health with expert treatment. If you would like to set up a consultation, please contact us!