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Westwood Periodontics
Westwood Periodontics

Westwood Periodontics
Your Westwood, NJ Dentist

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Mouth Body Connection

A woman with a healthy, smiling mouth after a deep cleaning at Westwood Periodontics

Understanding the Impact of Gum Disease on Overall Health

Decades of research and numerous studies have established an undeniable connection between oral and overall health. As a result, we here at Westwood Periodontics take a sophisticated and holistic approach towards periodontal health.

Dr. Gupta is at the forefront of exploring and addressing gum disease and its broader health implications. She excels at the treatment, and more importantly, the prevention of periodontal issues. So what’s the best way to prevent this issues and their broader health implications? Education.

The Interconnected Nature of Oral and General Health

As we previously established, research has consistently shown that there is a two-way relationship between periodontal health and overall health. Gum disease has systemic implications that can extend far beyond the mouth, while other diseases and health conditions can, in fact, affect your periodontal health. Let’s start with the former:

Impact of Gum Disease on Overall Health

Cardiovascular Disease

Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and an increased risk of heart disease. The inflammation caused by periodontal disease may contribute to the development of cardiovascular conditions.

People with heart valve disease are particularly at risk when gum disease is present. The bacteria caused by gum disease can cross into your bloodstream, enter the heart, and directly infect the vulnerable heart valves.


Gum disease is more prevalent and often more severe in individuals with diabetes. In fact, effective management of gum disease can often improve blood sugar control in diabetic patients.

Most people understand that maintaining a healthy dietary pattern and an active lifestyle are the main preventative measures adults can take against developing diabetes. But what they don’t consider (or know), is that maintaining a good oral hygiene regime can lower your risk too.

Pregnancy Complications

Severe periodontal disease has also been linked to pregnancy complications such as pre-mature birth and low birth weight. This becomes particularly frightening when combined with the fact that, according to the CDC, nearly 60-70% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease likely to result from changing hormones during pregnancy.

For these reasons, maintaining and monitoring proper oral health should be considered an important part of prenatal care.

Respiratory Diseases

Bacterial growth in the oral cavity due to gum disease can be inhaled into the lungs, potentially exacerbating respiratory conditions like pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In many cases, periodontal treatments like deep cleanings are the best way to prevent the spread of this bacteria and save a patient from respiratory issues.

Systemic Conditions Affecting Oral Health

Conversely, certain systemic conditions can exacerbate gum disease, necessitating a holistic approach to treatment.


Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing gum disease due to changes in blood sugar levels, which can affect gum health. One of the best defenses you have against gum disease is optimal diabetes management and preventative dental care visits.

Autoimmune Diseases

Certain autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, often lead to inflammation throughout the body, including the gums. This heightened inflammatory response can accelerate the progression of periodontal disease, exacerbating gum tissue damage and potentially affecting the supporting structures of the teeth. Managing autoimmune disorders is an essential aspect of preventing and treating periodontal disease effectively.

Emphasizing the Holistic Approach to Dentistry

Recognizing the mouth-body connection, our practice advocates a holistic approach to periodontal care. We understand that treating gum disease is not just about preserving teeth and gums but also about contributing to the overall health and wellness of our patients. In certain situations, this may involve:
•  Collaborating with other healthcare professionals to manage conditions that may affect or be affected by gum disease.
•  Educating patients about the importance of oral health as an integral part of their general health through careful instructions.
•  Uniquely tailored treatment plans to address both oral health issues and their potential systemic consequences.

Nutrition and Oral Health

Good nutrition plays a critical role in maintaining both oral health and overall well-being. Diets rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can bolster gum health and help fight against periodontal disease.

Stress and Oral Health

Stress can adversely affect the body’s immune system, making it harder to fight off infections, including those that cause gum disease. Managing stress is therefore an essential component of a more holistic approach.

Regular Dental Care and Overall Health

Routine dental check-ups and cleanings are about more than just preventing cavities; they are integral to maintaining overall health. Regular dental visits can help identify and address periodontal issues before they escalate into more significant health problems.

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The relationship between periodontal health and overall health is profound and complex. Proper management of this relationship often involves the help of an expert periodontist liek Dr. Gupta.

Our practice is committed to providing the very best standard of care that recognizes and addresses the mouth-body connection as. Our goal is to ensure you receive comprehensive care that not only improves your oral health but also contributes to your general health and well-being.

To learn more about our services, call (551) 751-2024 and schedule your consultation today!

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Westwood Periodontics, 354 Old Hook Rd #201, Westwood, NJ 07675; (551) 751-2024;; 6/13/2024; Page Keywords: periodontist Westwood NJ;