Your oral health can be a powerful predictor of your overall health. If you have periodontal disease, gum inflammation, cavities, or tooth loss, you’re at a higher risk for several chronic diseases. Here are some of the ways that oral health and chronic disease are related.

oral health and chronic disease

Poor Glycemic Control

Periodontal disease has been shown to be related to poor glycemic control, particularly for those with type II diabetes. Whether it is a contributing factor or exactly how it is related to developing the condition is currently up for debate. However, if you have been diagnosed with type II diabetes, it is more important than ever to maintain good dental health and treat existing periodontal disease.

Reduced Healthcare Costs

Research shows that periodontal intervention saves on overall healthcare costs. This means that scheduling treatments for periodontal disease can help you spend less on the routine costs for managing chronic conditions such as diabetes. This could be due to improved overall health or earlier intervention.

Cardiovascular Risk

Poor oral health is associated with higher cardiovascular risk. This includes health problems like heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke. This is because bacteria causes inflammation, which is linked to cardiovascular health problems. Decreasing gum inflammation and oral bacteria could help you reduce your cardiovascular risk.

Preterm Birth

Pregnant women with periodontal disease are at an increased risk for preterm birth. Some midwives and OB/GYNs will recommend that pregnant patients schedule a dentist appointment early on in the pregnancy to take care of any underlying dental health issues before they exacerbate into more significant problems. Pregnancy can often take its toll on dental health, so proactive dental care can help to keep your teeth healthy over the long term.


Some types of cancer share common risk factors with poor dental health. Researchers have found a link between pancreatic cancer and bleeding gums and missing teeth. However, researchers are not yet sure how oral health increases your risk or causes the disease. By investing in your own oral health, you can help to reduce some of your risk of developing a chronic disease.

There are still many unanswered questions about how oral health is related to chronic disease. However, there is one thing that’s for certain. Poor oral health increases your risk for chronic disease. Scheduling regular dental checkups can go a long way toward keeping you healthy.

Ready to Get Started?

At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.

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