The health risks of not looking after your teeth, from dementia to heart disease

Research shows that residual plaque can trigger or worsen the progression of pneumonia because bacteria can quickly transfer from teeth to the respiratory tract. From here, they can travel down to the lungs.

“In particular, patients who are already susceptible are more likely to suffer acute infection,” said Patel. “So, immunocompromised patients with severe asthma; patients waiting for a lung transplant. We have to be very careful to control any existing gum disease.


At first glance, this seems like a strange connection. How is poor oral hygiene linked to diseases caused by pancreatic dysfunction? However, research has found a bidirectional relationship between diabetes and gum disease.

Poor blood sugar control can stimulate the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the mouth, and chronic infections from untreated periodontal problems can cause a surge of inflammation in the blood, causing blood sugar levels to rise and making the condition more difficult to control.

“If you have bacteria in your mouth that sit around for a while, they start producing these substances called endotoxins,” Woodhouse said. “The body responds to them by flooding the area with inflammatory products, and all of those Nasty chemicals and toxins floating around in the blood continue to mess with many body systems. Diabetes and periodontal disease: It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation. They both exacerbate each other.

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