Why Is Gum Health Important?

Many patients may only think of problems like tooth decay or cavities when they think of dental issues. However, gums play an important role in patients’ oral health. Problems like gum disease can affect other areas of the body. Gum disease also has links to health problems like diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory diseases, and heart problems. Here we will show the links between overall health and gum health in Chicago, IL.

Gum Health in Chicago, IL

Overall Health and Gum Health in Chicago, IL 

Health problems and gum problems can be linked as one condition can affect the other. Some health problems that can affect the gums include: 


Gum disease increases the levels of sugar in the body, and provides more food for harmful bacteria. This can also make it difficult for diabetics to control their blood glucose levels. Many diabetics experience thicker blood vessels, which makes it hard to deliver nutrients and remove waste. This can leave gum tissue more prone to infection.

Poor oral hygiene and tobacco use can also leave diabetics at higher risk of gum disease. Diabetics over 45 are 20 times more likely to develop periodontal disease when they use tobacco products. Additionally, diabetics need to ensure a good oral hygiene routine to prevent gum disease as poor oral hygiene is a leading cause of infection.


Bone fragility, decreased bone mineral density, and low bone mass are indicators of osteoporosis. Patients with osteoporosis and gum disease are more at risk of bones breaking because of inflammation. Estrogen deficiency can also speed up oral bone loss and lead to gum recession. Many post-menopausal women can develop osteoporosis and lose gum tissue that keep teeth stable.

Respiratory Diseases

Gum disease can worsen pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Patients with chronic respiratory disease often have low immunity, increasing their risk of gum disease. Bacteria that cause inflammation can also inflame the lining in the lungs. Smoking or using tobacco products can also contribute to respiratory diseases and worsen the immune system.

Heart Problems

Strokes, heart attacks, heart disease, and other heart problems are closely linked to gum disease. Harmful bacteria in the mouth that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream, attaching to blood vessels in the arteries and contributing to clots. As periodontitis develops, it weakens immune systems and the body’s inflammatory response.

We recommend that you visit our office regularly for routine care so we can keep track of your health problems. Let our team know of any medical conditions impacting your oral health. At regular dental visits, we can take detailed x-rays to examine the teeth, gums, and jaw. We also provide deep dental cleanings like scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from the smile. Topical or oral antibiotics also minimize harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Call our dental office for treatment today at (773) 549-2881. You may also schedule a dental appointment with us on our website. Let us know if you have questions or concerns about your gum health and we can help.