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Periodontal Disease – The Link to Heart Disease and Other Systemic Diseases


At Premier Dental of South Orange County, Dr. T. Duc Pham and Dr. Marian Bradford understands how the dental health of our patients is important to their overall health. Any signs of infection or nutritional deficiencies in the mouth can result in systemic diseases that affect the entire body of the patient. One of the most common dental issues in the United States is periodontal disease. These are infections that affect the structures around one’s teeth. While the initial signs will include swelling and bleeding of the gums, the structures responsible for supporting teeth will be compromised if the infection spreads. Research shows that there is a link between the condition and heart disease as well as other systemic diseases.

Link To Heart Disease

Inflammation of the gums is one of the sure signs of gum disease. Swelling can lead to hardening of arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. This will make it difficult for blood to flow to the patient’s heart, putting them at risk of a heart attack. Disrupting the layers of infected gums can spread bacteria into the bloodstream, raising the worry for heart disease.

Link To Stroke

Atherosclerosis can not only make it harder for blood to flow through the arteries but can lead to blocked arteries altogether. Blocked arteries can result in certain kinds of stroke. Since periodontal disease can result in hardened arteries, the link between the condition and stroke is evident.

Premature Births

Bacteria from infected gums can get into the bloodstream and target the fetus in the womb. Bacteria can cause the uterine membrane to rupture leading to premature birth and babies with low birth weight. Pregnant women in developed and developing countries should seek prenatal care to prevent any infections.


Periodontal disease can make it difficult for a person with diabetes to control their glucose levels. When oral infection becomes severe, it can lead to an increase in blood sugar, increasing the risk of systemic diseases associated with diabetes. Controlling blood sugar levels is one of the ways of managing diabetes. People living with diabetes can lower the risk of other conditions like nerve damage, heart disease, and eye problems by managing their blood sugar levels.

Respiratory Disease

Bacteria responsible for gum disease can find its way from the oral cavity to the lungs which can make existing lung problems worse. In some cases, this can cause severe pneumonia or lead to lung infections.

When seeking dental care, the importance of consulting Dr. Pham and Dr. Bradford cannot be emphasized enough. Working with qualified and experienced Aliso Viejo dentists will help patients to detect dental issues before they become serious. Patients in Aliso Viejo, CA will also get advice on how to improve their dental hygiene so schedule a consultation today!

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