Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and gum disease goes both ways – gum disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar and diabetics are more likely to develop gum disease.
People with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease than people without diabetes, probably because they are more prone to infections. In fact, gum disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Diabetics who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk of gum disease and diabetic complications. Gum disease will increase the risk for those complications.
People who smoke may get gum disease due to the build-up of bacterial plaque. The gums are affected because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so the infected gums do not heal. Smoking causes people to have more dental plaque and causes gum disease to get worse more quickly than in non-smokers. Gum disease is still the most common cause of tooth loss in adults (Oral Health Foundation).
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure medication may cause overgrowth of the gums in some individuals. The enlarged and misshapen gums make effective tooth cleaning impossible and enable plaque to accumulate. This results in inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which may progress to the destruction of the tooth-supporting tissues (periodontitis) and possible tooth loss.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease causing inflammation in the joints leading to destruction and deformities. Rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease are both inflammatory diseases, and research suggests that they can contribute to making each other worse; a two-way process where people with rheumatoid arthritis can have higher rates of gum disease, and gum disease, in some patients, seems to be associated with increasing rheumatoid arthritis activity. There may be an association between a harmful type of bacteria, found in the inflamed dental pockets in people with gum disease, which is thought to stimulate disease activity leading to possible rheumatoid flares. Treatment of gum disease may improve the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Stress can affect both the general and periodontal health of patients. Continued or intense periods of stress can cause suppression of the immune system which may make an environment perfect for bacterial interaction, causing increased attachment loss. Stress also affects how well people look after themselves and might lead to less effective oral health care routine and cause a plaque build-up, increased smoking and lack of good nutrients.
Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes
Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes have been associated with gum disease. Negative pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, as well as with gestational diabetes are associated with gum disease. Studies suggest that bacteria is transmitted via the blood stream to the foetus.