Patient Education

Pregnancy, Diabetes, Respiratory Issues and Periodontal Disease

Diabetes is a disease that causes altered levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes develops from either a deficiency in insulin production ( a hormone that is the key component in the body`s ability to use blood sugars) or the body`s inability to use insulin correctly. According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 12 to 14 million Americans have diabetes; however, more than half have not been diagnosed with this disease.

While some diabetes control their disease with insulin, most control it through diet and exercise. If you have diabetes, you know that you need to work closely with your physician to monitor the status of your diabetes and to keep it under control. In addition, you should also work with your dentist and Dr. Gordon to keep your mouth and gums free from infection, as this may have a significant impact on the control of your diabetes.

Why is oral health so important to me as a diabetic?
Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is a bacterial infection that, left untreated, may increase in severity. As a diabetic, you are at higher risk for developing these types of infections, which can impair your ability to process and/or utilize insulin. This may cause your diabetes to be more difficult to control and your infection to be more severe than a non-diabetic.

Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease
It`s possible that if you have periodontal disease, you may be at risk for pregnacy problems.
Now evidence is mounting that suggests women with periodontal disease have nearly seven times the risk of having a baby born too early and too small. There is a 50% increased risk for "pregnancy gingivitis" due to the hormonal changes.

Respiratory and Periodontal Disease
It`s possible that if you have periodontal disease, you may be at risk for respiratory disease...
For a long time we`ve known that people who smoke, are elderly, or have other health problems that suppress the immune system, are at increased risk for development of respiratory diseases like pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Now growing research is beginning to suggest a new risk factor-periodontal disease. If you have periodontal disease, you may be at increased risk for respiratory disease.

More research is needed to confirm how periodontal disease may put people at increased risk for respiratory disease. What we do know is that infections in the mouth, like periodontal disease, are associated with increased risk of respiratory infection.

Visit NJ Monthly Magazine to read more about Dr. Marc Gordon

Dr. Marc Gordon is a dentist providing dental procedures such as dental implants and periodontal treatment in Howell, NJ, Eatontown, NJ and New York, NY.
Dr. Marc Gordon is licensed as a Periodontist in the states of New Jersey and New York.