Diseases Associated with Periodontal Disease

Diseases Associated with Periodontal Disease

What diseases are associated with periodontal disease? It is a condition that affects the gums caused by inflammation and infection.

Depending on the severity, only the soft tissues or also the bone supporting the teeth may be affected. In fact, periodontal disease and its most advanced stage, periodontitis, can even compromise the survival of the tooth.


Many studies claim that severe periodontal disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults, but it is a condition that can occur at any age.


In other articles on our blog, we delve into what periodontal disease is and what the risk factors for periodontitis are, its most advanced stage. In this article, we will refer to which diseases are associated with it and why it is vital to consider it a public health problem that affects the overall well-being of the patient.


Why Does Periodontitis Affect General Health?

In our country, 1 in 3 people suffers from severe periodontal disease and half of them are unaware, which is why it is known as a “silent disease”. It is a condition that not only affects the oral cavity but, being an inflammatory process, it affects the entire body.


Many diseases are associated with periodontitis because they share inflammatory and immunoregulatory processes and mechanisms.


The pathogens and inflammatory mediators produced in the periodontal tissues when periodontal disease is present can enter the bloodstream, contributing to the development of other ailments.

This is possible because when there are exposed ulcerative areas in the soft tissues surrounding the tooth, the risk of airborne or foodborne bacteria entering our body is much higher.


What Are the Diseases Associated with Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is closely related to various diseases, most of which are systemic, meaning they affect not only one organ or part of the body but have negative effects on the entire body. Below, we will detail what they are.


Pneumonia is a major cause of death, especially in the elderly population, and several studies claim that some pathogenic oral bacteria can travel to the upper airways and into the lungs.

There are different types of pneumonia, but some suggest that nosocomial pneumonias, especially severe ones associated with aspiration in ICU patients on mechanical ventilation, could be prevented by reducing oral microorganisms and properly controlling dental plaque.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The etiology of rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that causes pain, inflammation, stiffness, and joint dysfunction and commonly affects wrists and fingers, is unknown. However, we can observe a common denominator between this disease and periodontal disease: inflammation.

So much so that various studies have found the presence of periodontal bacteria such as P. gingivalis in the joints of arthritic patients. This suggests that periodontal disease may be a causative factor in the onset and maintenance of the autoimmune inflammatory response that occurs in rheumatoid arthritis.

Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s

Articles like “Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors” suggest that the chronic immuno-inflammatory process and systemic inflammation secondary to periodontitis influence the onset of neuro-inflammatory phenomena that favor Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, it’s not that cerebral involvement with P. gingivalis is a result of poor dental care after the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s or a consequence of these diseases, but it should be understood as a preceding event that may be associated with periodontal disease before cognitive impairment.


Obesity is a chronic metabolic disease whose effect is an abnormal excessive accumulation of body fat that jeopardizes the patient’s health.

The association between obesity and periodontal disease is determined by the fact that the increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines by adipose tissue plays a fundamental role in the pathophysiology of both diseases, stimulating the production of various systemic inflammation markers and altering the immune response.


The body is, therefore, more susceptible to infections. Additionally, it has also been suggested that the increase in leptin in obese patients could interfere with the regenerative capacity of periodontal tissue.


Cardiovascular Diseases

There is solid evidence of its relationship with periodontitis. In fact, patients with severe periodontal disease are at greater risk of heart attack or cardiovascular accident. This is because the systemic inflammation produced by periodontitis increases the severity of atherosclerotic plaques, reducing or even blocking arterial blood flow.


Several studies show that periodontitis is the 6th complication of diabetes. Diabetic patients are more likely to suffer from periodontal disease, and conversely, periodontitis also affects glycemic control. In people with diabetes, the response to an infection in damaged gum tissues is altered, as it impairs repair and healing processes.


Always Consult Periodontal Specialists

Now that we have reviewed the main diseases associated with periodontal disease, it is clear that the health of our gums is a matter of general health, and it is essential to understand the importance of their relationship with other pathologies.


The good condition of periodontal tissues is closely related to many other parts of our body, not just the oral cavity, so the statement “healthy mouth, healthy body” takes on special significance.


It is essential, therefore, to avoid deterioration of the health of the tissues that support our teeth not only for mere aesthetic or functional reasons regarding the teeth themselves but because unhealthy, inflamed, or infected gums can lead to other risks to the health of our entire body.

Do you think you have periodontal disease? Remember that you can visit our clinic in A Coruña, where Dr. Liñares and his team will provide you with their experience as well as all the diagnostic resources and the most advanced equipment for the performance of any periodontal treatment. Consult us!

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