It is obvious that good oral health can lead to clean teeth, free of debris, and healthy pink gums. Did you know that many researching dentists agree that poor oral hygiene can cause more severe problems than just tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath? It can contribute to diseases that you’ve likely never even considered, such as:

Alzheimer’s disease

Studies conducted in New York and Florida research labs display a strong association between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s. The University of Florida, College of Dentistry compared donated brain samples of 10 people with Alzheimer’s with 10 brains samples of people without. The studies showed that 4 of the 10 samples of people with Alzheimer’s were infected with P. Gingivialis (a keystone bacterium found in chronic periodontitis), while the other 10 brain samples from people without Alzheimer’s did not have P. Gingivalis.

A team of researchers from NYU, School of Dentistry, found an increased risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s in people with periodontal disease.

Every activity such as brushing or eating could allow debris from your gums like P. Gingivalis to enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain. The subsequent immune response may lead to nerve cell damage and memory loss.

Pancreatic Cancer

A new study conducted at Harvard found a strong link between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer. The study showed that men with gum disease were 63% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer compared to men who do not have gum disease.

One possible explanation for this connection may be that people with gum disease have elevated C-reactive protein, which contributes to the production of cancer cells. Another reason is that a person with periodontal disease has increased levels of carcinogens.

Heart Disease

There is a substantial amount of evidence indicating the association between gum disease and cardiovascular (Heart) disease. Debris from gums and bacteria can enter the bloodstream and clog the heart’s blood vessels, eventually causing a heart attack.


People who have diabetes are more likely to develop more frequent and severe gum infections. The relationship between gum disease and diabetes actually goes both ways:

Medical research indicates that gum disease could weaken the body’s capability to control blood sugar and contribute to type 2 diabetes.

By visiting your dentist frequently you can treat periodontal disease and eliminate the source of infection, adding years to your lifespan!

If your dentist isn’t properly addressing your overall health, schedule an appointment with our Encino dentist today!

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