Can Gum Disease Lead to Other Health Conditions?

Casey Ledford26 March 2023 (Updated 16 September 2023)

The short answer is yes. Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the gums, bones, and other tooth-supporting structures. It is caused by bacterial plaque that builds up on teeth and gums and can cause a variety of oral health issues, including bleeding gums, bad breath, and tooth loss. However, research has shown that gum disease can have far-reaching effects on overall health and well-being, making it critical to take preventive and treatment measures. Below are some of the main health conditions gum disease can lead to.

Heart Disease

According to research, there may be a link between gum disease and heart disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease are thought to enter the bloodstream and create an inflammatory response in other regions of the body, including the heart. Inflammation plays a role in the development of heart disease, which is why it is critical to practice proper dental hygiene to lower the chance of getting both gum disease and heart disease.


Diabetes patients are more prone to gum disease, and research has shown that gum disease can make controlling blood sugar levels more difficult. This is due to the fact that the inflammation caused by gum disease can impair insulin sensitivity, making it more difficult for the body to use insulin effectively. This can result in high blood sugar levels, which can harm the gums and other organs in the body.

Problems Associated with Pregnancy

Gum disease has also been connected to pregnancy issues such as early birth and low birth weight. The inflammation induced by gum disease is hypothesized to set off a chain reaction that leads to premature labor. To lower the chance of acquiring gum disease during pregnancy, pregnant women should practice good dental hygiene.

Respiratory Infections

According to research, the bacteria that causes gum disease can be inhaled and cause respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia. This is especially true for patients who have pre-existing respiratory disorders such chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Keeping proper dental hygiene is thus critical for lowering the risk of respiratory infections.


While the link between gum disease and cancer is less clear than some of the other links, there is some evidence to suggest that there may be a connection. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that men with a history of gum disease had a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer, including lung cancer, kidney cancer, and pancreatic cancer. While more research is needed to confirm this link, it is important to take steps to prevent and treat gum disease to reduce the risk of developing other health problems.

There are various relationships between gum disease and overall health, and it is critical to take preventive and treatment measures. Good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing on a regular basis, visiting the dentist on a regular basis, a routine teeth cleaning, and quitting smoking, can all help to lower the chance of developing gum disease and the accompanying health problems. You can protect your general health and well-being by taking care of your oral health.

How We Can Help

A Cosmetic Dentistry Grant is for anyone who wishes to enhance their oral health and restore confidence in their smile, but you must first meet eligibility requirements. Apply now with CDG to see if you’re eligible!