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Ask the Oral Surgeon in Chicago: Periodontal Disease and the Mouth-Body Connection, PART 3 This article, part 3 of 4, explores the connection between chronic oral bacterial infection and preterm labor, as well as other illnesses and diseases of the body. Previously, this dual-degreed oral surgeon in Chicago discussed the connection between chronic and acute oral bacterial infections (periodontal disease) and the general health of the body, in particular the heart. It was found that patients who present with gum disease are at a 50% greater risk of developing heart disease, and that this was a result of a build-up of arterial plaques (soft deposits of bacteria) in the arteries due to inflammation, c-reactive protein and other chemical inflammatory mediators. In this article, the third installment of our four-part series on periodontal disease, we shall look at some of the other serious and potentially fatal conditions this nasty oral affliction is directly associated with. Ask the Oral Surgeon in Chicago Loop: Understanding the Mouth-Body Connection

Few patients truly understand how intimately linked our mouths are with our bodies. If you had to tell the average person that neglecting to brush and floss regularly would put them at an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s and respiratory disease, they’d probably stare at you in disbelief! Or at least it is in the experience of the oral surgeon in Chicago Loop. However, this is the reality of the situation. Allowing an oral bacterial infection of the soft tissues surrounding the teeth, the gums, to go untreated not only causes bad breath, gum inflammation, swelling, oral lesions and eventual tooth loss, but it is also linked with all of these awful diseases, says this dual degreed oral surgeon in Chicago Loop. Ask the Oral Surgeon in Chicago Loop: Periodontal Disease and Associated Risks

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes ~ Diabetes can be a debilitating condition to live with. By increasing a patient’s risk for infection, it has a devastating effect on the entire body, including your mouth. Oddly enough, diabetes not only increases a patient’s risk of developing an oral bacterial infection; but the reverse situation is also true! Periodontal disease, says the oral surgeon in Chicago Loop, increases the amount of infection the body is forced to deal with, which in turn makes it extremely difficult to control blood sugar levels. Seeking treatment for periodontal disease can make diabetes easier to control and controlled diabetes lowers a patient’s risk of oral bacterial infection, says this dual-degreed oral surgeon in Chicago. Periodontal Disease and Premature Birth ~ Being pregnant immediately increases a woman’s susceptibility to gum infection, which is unfortunately a result of fluctuating hormone levels, says the oral surgeon in Chicago Loop. However, medical studies have revealed that an oral bacterial infection may also lead to preterm labor, low fetal birth weight and premature birth, which makes it extremely important for expecting women to follow a rigorous oral hygiene routine and seek regular professional attention from the oral surgeon in Chicago. Periodontal Disease and Respiratory Disease ~ Possibly a result of breathing in and aspirating bacteria, gum disease is linked with several different kinds of pneumonia. Periodontal Disease and Osteoporosis ~ This is as yet an unconfirmed link, says the oral surgeon in Chicago Loop, but certain medical studies have led to the theory that periodontal disease may lead to more rapid bone loss in patients that suffer from osteoporosis. Periodontal Disease and Arthritis ~ In the Journal of Periodontology, a 2008 study revealed that of a sample of 109 people, those with rheumatoid arthritis were 80% more likely to suffer from acute and chronic oral bacterial infections. Because they are both inflammatory in nature, says this dualdegreed oral surgeon in Chicago, they are believed to be closely linked. Ask the Oral Surgeon in Chicago Loop: *Watch this Space*

Stay tuned for the fourth and final installment of this article series on the link between poor periodontal health and the serious diseases and disorders that affect the body.

Ask the Oral Surgeon in Chicago: Periodontal Disease and the Mouth-Body Connection, PART 3