Is gum disease associated with other health problems?
There have been many attempts to understand the link between gum disease and other systemic health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease. Comparing the bacteria that cause dental plaque with the bacteria involved in heart disease suggests a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, but researchers have been unable to establish a cause and effect relationship. These types of relationships are difficult to prove or disprove, so it is fair to assume that aiming for a life free of gum disease will only help in leading a generally healthier life.
While it may be hard to prove what health problems gum disease directly causes, it is known that certain health problems can cause gum disease. If there are any sudden changes to a person's medical condition, they should ask their primary-care provider or dentist if there might be any effects on oral health. Healthy gums can quickly become threatened when the body's overall health diminishes or changes for any reason.