How Oral Health Affects General Health – Part 2

Hello, and welcome back to our blog. This is part two of our series where we discuss the impact of your oral health on your overall health and well being. If you have any questions or you’re ready to schedule an appointment with a periodontist, call Pacific Northwest Periodontics today.


According to Professional Heart Daily, the risk of ischemic stroke increased in patients with both gum disease and severe periodontitis, specifically in men under the age of 60. This type of stroke results from a blocked blood vessel that transports blood to the brain. Inflammation and hardening of the arteries are the two factors that are said to result in the stroke. Most experts agree that you can reduce your chances of having a stroke by preventing gum disease.

Breast Cancer

In a study done by researchers at University of Buffalo School of Public Health, women with gum disease are 14 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than women who don’t have the disease. It’s over 30 percent if the woman smokes. This is believed to be caused by inflammation that comes with gum disease. Bacteria enters the bloodstream, and as a result, the body is more susceptible to other threats.   

In addition to being at a higher risk for breast cancer, there can be even more complications if you have untreated gum disease when you’re seeking treatment for breast cancer. Certain drugs used to treat breast cancer will suppress white blood cells which fight off infections which could lead to worse gum disease, or the infection spreading throughout the body more easily. You should also take care to watch your oral hygiene. Make sure you continue to brush and floss every day since your immune system will be in a weakened state once you start taking medication.

As with many health conditions, this is a two-way road. Once cancer treatment starts, it may actually lead to further oral health issues. According to the International Journal of Cancer Research (IJCR), around one-third of people receiving treatment for breast cancer develop oral health complications. Chemotherapy is designed to attack cells that develop quickly. The problem is that even healthy cells develop quickly in the mouth. This means when someone receives chemotherapy treatment, they’re at a higher risk of damaging healthy cells leading to things like Mucositis, thrush, and bacterial infections.  

Quality Of Life

Up to this point, we’ve talked a lot about oral health and the part it plays in increasing your risk of experiencing systemic disease and the impact of systemic diseases if you already have an oral health condition. However, one thing that’s worth noting is your overall well being when you’re experiencing an oral health condition.


With the constant doctor and dentist visits and ever-increasing medical bill costs, there’s no doubt that oral health can cause stress. Although most people don’t enjoy going in for their bi-annual dentist visit, it could mean the difference between a minor oral health issue and a life-threatening one. Keep up with your oral hygiene and regular dentist visits to avoid the stress and cost associated with something more serious.


The general rule of thumb is that the longer you leave an oral health condition untreated, the more painful it becomes. So yes, that toothache you’ve been having isn’t going away by itself and it certainly isn’t going to feel any better as the problem progresses. If you’re experiencing severe tooth decay, the best option may be to extract the tooth and replace it so that you can regain the functionality and comfort of your healthy teeth. But the longer you put off a visit to the dentist or periodontist, you may be faced with a more painful and costly procedure.

Contact Pacific Northwest Periodontics

Pacific Northwest Periodontics should be your first choice for same-day implants in Seattle and the surrounding area. Implants don’t just help you regain the functionality of your healthy natural teeth, they help to prevent harmful infections that can lead to life-threatening systemic diseases. Our All-On-Four dental implants are also one of the best alternatives to dentures available to you.