Do you wonder why you suffer from persistent episodes of pneumonia or bronchitis? The answer may be hiding in your gums.

The link between infected gums and respiratory infections

Scientists have discovered a link between periodontal disease, also called gum disease, and respiratory infections. If you suffer from periodontal disease, you may be inhaling harmful bacteria from the infection in your gums into your lungs every day. Evidence now indicates that bacteria in your lungs can lead to respiratory infections like pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

What causes periodontal disease?

The main cause of periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque. Plaque is the sticky film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth. If all of the plaque isn't removed each day, it builds up and mineralizes to become tartar, also called calculus.

If tartar isn't removed, it begins to accumulate on the root surfaces. Bacteria that cause periodontal disease thrive in tartar where they produce toxins. It's these toxins, combined with your body's response to them, that destroy bone around your teeth. Professional help is required to remove tartar, because there's no way to remove it at home. A toothbrush or floss won't even budge it.

Treating periodontal disease to protect your health

If we determine that you have periodontal disease, we'll recommend an appropriate treatment plan, and we'll work with you to create a suitable oral hygiene routine. Prompt treatment of periodontal disease removes the source of bacteria, allows your gums to heal, and stops the progressive loss of bone. Treatment also increases your overall health and reduces your risk of respiratory infection, so you'll be breathing easier!