Gum (Periodontal) Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

7. Can gum disease cause problems beyond the mouth?

In some studies, researchers have observed that people with periodontal disease (when compared to people without periodontal disease) were more likely to develop heart disease or have difficulty controlling their blood sugar. But so far, it has not been determined whether periodontal disease is the cause of these conditions.

There may be other reasons people with periodontal disease sometimes develop additional health problems. For example, something else may be causing both the gum disease and the other condition, or it could be a coincidence that gum disease and other health problems are present together.

More research is needed to clarify whether gum disease actually causes health problems beyond the mouth, and whether treating gum disease can keep other health conditions from developing.

In the meantime, it's a fact that controlling periodontal disease can save your teeth -- a very good reason to take care of your teeth and gums.