Smile more. Laugh more. Live more.
5760 Grande Market Dr.
Appleton, WI 54913
(920) 997-1557
1414 N. Taylor Dr #230
Sheboygan, WI 53081
(920) 453-5972

Links Between Periodontal and General Health

Do you think that skipping your dental checkup and cleaning every once in a while won’t do any harm? If so, think again. A twice-yearly professional cleaning from your dental hygienist is a key element in preventing gum disease, which is also called periodontal disease. Once full-blown periodontal disease sets in, you’ll be dealing with a chronic condition that can only be managed, not cured. Additionally, gum disease has been shown to cause or worsen several general health problems, so your overall health can suffer as well as your oral health.

How Periodontal Disease Occurs

Gingivitis, the first phase of gum disease, begins with gum inflammation caused by the oral bacteria in plaque. Regular flossing and brushing, combined with deep cleanings by your dentist, can bring your gums back to good health after a diagnosis of gingivitis. However, plaque that is not routinely cleaned from the teeth will harden, forming a substance called tartar or calculus. A dental professional must remove tartar before it works its way beneath the gumline and separates the healthy bond between the gums and teeth. If periodontal pockets form, they will collect loads of harmful oral bacteria that can break down the gum tissues and other supporting structures that hold the teeth in place. 

Acute and Chronic Conditions Linked to Gum Health

Periodontal disease is thought to affect other health conditions in two possible ways. First, oral bacteria can make their way to the bloodstream through damaged gum tissues, traveling to other parts of the body and wreaking havoc on your health. Secondly, periodontitis is an inflammatory disease and may cause inflammatory responses in other areas. Some conditions that are linked to gum disease include the following: 

• Diabetes: The uncontrolled blood sugar resulting from diabetes makes a person more prone to developing gum inflammation and infection. Likewise, the inflammatory nature of periodontal disease can cause elevated blood glucose levels. 

• Heart Disease: Infected gums can contribute to cardiovascular issues such as clogged arteries and endocarditis, a bacterial infection that occurs in the lining of the heart.

• Cancer: Numerous studies show links between periodontal disease and certain types of cancer, including prostate, lung, kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers. 

• Pregnancy Complications: Pregnant women who have gum disease are more likely to deliver prematurely and have babies with low birth weights. 

• Rheumatoid Arthritis: One medical study showed that people with rheumatoid arthritis are eight times more likely to suffer from periodontal disease than those without this inflammatory condition. 

• Dementia: The oral bacteria known to cause gum disease have been discovered in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, suggesting a link between these organisms and memory loss.

• Respiratory Disease: If oral bacteria are aspirated into the lungs, serious respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia can occur.

Achieve Good Gum Health with Your Appleton and Sheboygan Dentist

Routine checkups and professional cleanings performed by your Appleton and Sheboygan dentist are essential to prevent periodontal disease and detect new oral health problems at their earliest stages. To keep both your mouth and body in great health, schedule a consultation with Northstar Dental Group today.



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Patient Testimonials

 Dr. Pete and Staff (Especially Rhonda)

 I just wanted to thank you all for taking such good care of Corey.  You did such a good job of taking something potentially traumatic to a lad and making it not so terrible.  He actually said he can’t wait to come back to you guys.  You're always there when I need you and I really appreciate it.  Thank you!

 - Amy & Corey


Amy & Corey

"I was deathly afraid of the dentist and my teeth were horrible.  I was also very tired and unhealthy with infection in my gums.  After just one visit, my smile is much better and I feel way healthier and have more energy."  Dan C. Appleton WI.

“Doctor Pete and his crew are the best! 15 years plus of awesome service and the best dental work money can buy. A very appreciative client and a good friend, forever!  You guys totally ROCK!     

 P. Johnson of Open Road Harley-Davidson.”

Just a quick note to let you know that the "Silent Night" is the BEST $$$ I ever spent!! I sleep so much better and my husband doesn't wear his ear plugs any more! Thank you!
June V.