The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Dental health is connected with the health of the body. Staying in good oral health can lessen complications to existing health conditions. One common dental problem that patients can experience is gum disease or periodontitis. While periodontitis begins as gum irritation and inflammation, it can quickly lead to more serious symptoms, including gum recession and tooth loss.

As your dentist in Rockland County, NY, we want you to know about the health conditions and problems linked to gum disease. Understanding your emerging symptoms and receiving professional care is important to stop the spread of gum infection and worsening symptoms.

The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Dental and Oral Health in Rockland County, NY

Some patients may have risk factors for gum disease and need to be more careful about their oral health. Certain medical conditions or systemic diseases are linked to gum inflammation or gum disease:

Heart Problems

Dental infections can be linked to heart problems. If the harmful bacteria that affect the teeth and gums enter the bloodstream, they can affect heart health. Patients who already have heart problems can experience complications because harmful bacteria can inflame the blood vessels. As a result, patients can be at risk of experiencing blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.


Gum disease has also been linked to diabetes. Many patients with diabetes have increased blood sugar levels, which also means they will have an increased risk of infection of their gum tissue. The bacteria that cause gum disease feed on sugars and starches left in the mouth. Patients with high blood glucose can attract harmful bacteria to the mouth’s soft tissues, including the gums.


Pregnant women can be more at risk of developing problems like gingivitis or periodontitis because of changes in hormonal levels. Many pregnant women can notice gingivitis when they experience bleeding, irritated gums, gum sensitivity, and red or purple gum tissue.

It is safe for pregnant women to visit the dentist, especially for routine dental cleanings and care, so that we can address their gum problems. While sitting in the dental chair in later trimesters may be more difficult, it is perfectly safe.

Respiratory Diseases

Patients with pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) may experience worsening symptoms if they also have gum disease.

Because patients with chronic respiratory diseases have weaker immune systems, they are at risk of developing dental problems like gum disease. The harmful bacteria that contribute to gum inflammation can also inflame the lungs.

Do you have a pre-existing condition that can impact your dental health? Are you noticing changes in your oral health? Call (845) 241-0656 or request a dental appointment with Cosmetic Dentistry Associates on our website. We can help you prevent complications from multiple dental and health problems by addressing gum disease.