It has been reported that 3 out of every 4 Americans have signs of mild periodontal disease or gingivitis. Almost 30% show signs of the more severe disease, chronic periodontitis. We now have reason to believe that the health of your teeth and gums may have a significant effect on the overall health of your body. Recent scientific literature suggests a strong relationship between oral disease and other systemic diseases and medical conditions.
According to numerous studies, there are three ways oral disease may affect your overall health. First, bacteria from your gums enter the saliva. From the saliva it may adhere to water droplets within the air you inhale each time you breathe. These bacteria laden water droplets may be aspirated into the lungs, potentially causing pulmonary infection and pneumonia. This can be very troublesome for the elderly or those who may suffer from generalized weakened immunity, associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).