Video 1 - How may severe gum disease (periodontitis) affect my general health?
There is evidence that in severe gum disease, called periodontitis, bacteria from the diseased pockets under the gums enter the blood stream and can trigger low levels of inflammation in the blood stream and body in general. Across the lifetime this seems to increase the risk of developing heart disease. However, it is unclear whether the increased risk is due to gum disease or shared risk factors including lifestyle factors such as smoking or social disadvantage that increase the risk of both gum disease and poor general health. This video explains our current understanding of how we feel this could happen. However, please remember “risk” does not mean “cause” and our understanding is far from complete.
Video 2 - Severe gum disease and heart disease
This video takes viewers on a journey through the blood vessels of the heart and explains how bacteria from the mouth can enter the cells that line the blood vessels and may cause the development of fatty deposits in the vessels of the heart called atheroma. It shows how over many years this may lead to stiffer arteries and blocked arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes in later life. We use the term “may” because this has not been proven without doubt. As we described above for general health, it is unclear whether the risk is due to gum disease or shared risk factors including lifestyle factors such as smoking or social disadvantage that increase the risk of both gum disease and heart disease.
Video 3 - Severe gum disease and diabetes
Severe gum disease seems to make diabetes harder to control or increase the complications of diabetes in the heart and kidneys. Whilst there are many studies that show this, they are largely small studies and limited in quality . Conversely, high blood sugar levels in diabetes can make gum disease worse. This video explains the mechanisms of this so-called “two-directional” relationship between gum disease and diabetes.
Video 4 - Is successful treatment of gum disease beneficial to general health?
This video explains how if gum disease is treated successfully it may improve the control of blood sugar in diabetes and may also reduce complications of diabetes. Further information is necessary before we can make clear recommendations to you. The video also indicates that there may be benefits to heart health from successful treatment of gum disease. This however remains to be definitely proven.