According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a relationship between gum (periodontal) disease and health complications such as a stroke and heart disease. Women with gum disease also show higher incidences of pre-term, low birth-weight babies.
Other research shows that more than 90% of all systemic diseases (diseases involving many organs or the whole body) have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth and excessive gum problems. Such diseases include:
- Oral cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
Since most people have regular oral examinations, their dentist may be the first health care provider to diagnose a health problem in its early stages.