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Jason E. Wagle, DDS, MS

Mark A. Moxley, DDS

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Moxley Wagle Periodontics

825 South Hillside
Wichita, KS 67211-3099
Phone : 316-685-2731
Fax : 316-685-6946

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The Other Diseases Gum Disease Can Affect

Posted on 9/25/2015 by Dr. Wagle
A doctor holding up a red sign with white letters on it.It may seem like a localized problem, but gum disease actually has a great impact on your overall health. Managing gum disease and taking proper steps to preventing it can potentially save your life. Here are some of the diseases associated with gum disease.

Heart Disease

Research shows that people with gum disease are more prone to developing heart disease. Heart disease is a condition of the blood vessels that can lead to heart attack. Plaque builds up in the arteries and can prevent vital oxygen and nutrients from being circulated. This puts undue stress on the heart and can even cause clots to form; both lead to heart attack. Other heart diseases include high blood pressure, stroke, and chronic chest pain.

Some researchers believe the correlation is from the bacteria formed in gum disease. It is also found within the blood vessels of those with heart disease. The other option is that inflammation is not just a localized occurrence and is found in both diseases. The inflammation from gum disease could trigger an inflammatory response elsewhere. While the exact cause is still being studied, it is concluded that there is a link.


While diabetes can actually cause gum disease, gum disease also plays a role in developing diabetes. Blood sugar is increased when gum disease is present. Increased and uncontrolled blood sugar levels lead to diabetes.

Respiratory Disease

The bacteria that dominate gum disease can be aspirated into the lungs. While this is mostly in the severe periodontal phase, this bacterium festers and leads to conditions such as life threatening pneumonia.


More research is still needed, but current studies are showing correlations between gum disease and certain cancers. Rates of pancreatic and kidney cancers are around 50% higher than those without gum disease. Rare blood cancers are 30% higher in those with gum disease.

Please contact us if you have any questions about gum disease.

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