Periodontitis is an inflammation of the gums, characterized by loss of bone tissue, the formation of periodontal pockets. Numerous scientific studies have proven the role of gum inflammation in the development of numerous diseases affecting almost all organs and systems. Recently, dentists and scientists have paid attention to the importance of gum disease in the formation of serious diseases of internal organs, as well as their complications. A study published in a scientific journal dedicated to the epidemiology of cancer, biomarkers and its prevention proves that periodontitis significantly increases the risk of developing breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

Inflammation of the gums and its deceit

Inflammation of the gums and its deceit

Gum disease is a collective term for gingivitis or periodontitis. These are completely different pathologies, which, one might say, are a complication of each other, but can form and exist independently.

Gingivitis affects only the gum tissue, while the bone tissue does not suffer. Depending on the type of inflammation, characteristic symptoms are formed: swelling, redness of the gums, bleeding when brushing teeth, bad breath, growth of gum tissue, etc. predisposing factors. There is also a connection between inflammation and hormonal levels.

It is periodontitis that deserves more attention, the cause of which lies in the combined action of bacteria, as well as some dystrophic processes in the body. Interest is justified not only by the presented study, but also by the possible effect on the body. Periodontitis is an inflammation of the gums, characterized by dystrophic changes in the bone tissue, loss of gum tissue, the formation of pathological periodontal pockets, and their subsequent inflammation.

It is in periodontitis that they see one of the causes of tooth loss, as well as the formation of serious diseases of internal organs.

Association with diseases of the internal organs

According to dentists, gum disease is quite common. In the course of numerous scientific studies, it was possible to identify the role of gum inflammation in the formation of pathologies of the heart and blood vessels. Moreover, in many cases, the presence of periodontitis became the cause of the formation of dangerous complications that pose a threat to the health and life of patients.

The role of periodontitis in increasing the risk of stroke has been identified and proven. An indirect relationship with dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease has been identified.

Dentists note that periodontitis is a powerful predisposing factor for the development of oncopathologies of the oral cavity, head and neck, and pancreas.

Studies have confirmed the relationship between gum disease and male diseases associated with the formation of erectile dysfunction, as well as infertility. Therefore, a dentist should also be involved in the treatment of prostatitis.

Recent studies have shown that periodontitis can be considered as a symptom of type 2 diabetes, scientists focus on the role of hormones, as well as age as a predisposing factor.

Jo L. Freudenheim, PhD, professor of epidemiology and environmental health at the University of Buffalo School of Public Health, USA, conducted a study whose main goal was to find out if there is an association between gum disease, namely periodontitis and breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

Research data

Research data

Dr. Freudenheim and her team studied approximately 74,000 postmenopausal women. None of these women had breast cancer, but 26% had periodontitis of varying severity.

Inspection and determination of the severity of the periodontium was carried out by dentists and entered the data obtained into a special questionnaire. Several criteria were of primary interest: the degree of complexity, the presence of pathological periodontal pockets and their depth, inflammation of the pockets, and much more.

Dr. Freudenheim’s team took into account previous studies that have proven the role of certain habits in the formation of gum disease, as well as diseases of the internal organs.

During a median follow-up period of 6.5 years, many cases of breast cancer were identified. Moreover, the data showed that the risk of its development was higher by 14% in women with gum disease, namely periodontitis.

The researchers also noted that women with bad habits and severe gum disease had a 36% higher risk of developing breast cancer. Those who got rid of the bad habit were less likely to develop breast cancer — only 8%.

Scientists noted that smoking, as a bad habit, has a significant negative impact on the condition of the oral cavity and the development of diseases of internal organs. Smoking is one of the causes of xerostomia (dry mouth), which causes the formation of pathologies: gum disease, caries and much more.

It is known that the microbial landscape in smoking and non-smoking patients differs significantly. And it is in the spread of pathogenic bacteria that they see the link between breast cancer and gum disease.

Bacteria from periodontal pockets, possibly carious cavities, penetrate into the general circulation and can settle in the tissues of the mammary glands.

Scientists noted that more research is needed to confirm causal relationships.

Dentists’ recommendations

Satisfactory oral hygiene, timely sanitation of the cavity, as well as the implementation of all the recommendations of the dentist can reduce the risk of developing numerous diseases, and not only the oral cavity.

A dentist is the doctor who can develop a prevention program, taking into account all the predisposing factors. It is known that age, physiological changes, such as menopause, as well as acquired diseases, significantly increase the risk of developing periodontitis. But this does not mean that gum inflammation is inevitable, but only that an individual prevention program is needed.

Take the test

Risk of Periodontitis

A test developed by the American Academy of Periodontology will help you find out how high your risk of periodontitis is.

Dentists / Ed. Bazhanova N.N. 2008

State of the immune status of patients with chronic generalized periodontitis / Popova N.V., Gaidarova T.A. // ACTA BIOMEDICA SCIENTIFICA 2010 №5(75)