Dee Nishimine, D.D.S., Inc.
Sophia Y. Tseng, D.M.D.
Periodontics & Dental Implants
Call: (559)229-6557

Mouth - Body Connection

Research studies have shown that there is a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications and respiratory disease.

Periodontal disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gum tissue, periodontal infection below the gum line and a presence of disease-causing bacteria in the oral region.  Halting the progression of periodontal disease and maintaining excellent standards of oral hygiene will not only reduce the risk of gum disease and bone loss, but also reduce the chances of developing other serious illnesses.

Drs. Dennis Nishimine, Dee Nishimine, & Sophia  Tseng will carefully evaluate your medical history at your intitial examination because the many cofactors associated with your periodontal disease state.  Often we will be in contact with your medical doctor for a consultation regarding your current and past medical history.


Research studies have shown that individuals with pre-existing diabetic conditions are more likely to either have, or be more susceptible to periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease can increase blood sugar levels which makes controlling the amount of glucose in the blood difficult.  This factor alone can increase the risk of serious diabetic complications.  Conversely, diabetes thickens blood vessels and therefore makes it harder for the mouth to rid itself of excess sugar.  Excess sugar in the mouth creates a breeding ground for the types of oral bacteria that cause gum disease.

We will evaluate your sugar levels suggesting that your Hb-A-1c or glycosalated hemoglobin be less than 6.  Many people feel that diabetics can not be treated periodontally but acutually they need more attention and periodontal care.   Diabetics need to have periodontal therapy and need to control the amout of Bacterial Plaque that may be disseminated systemically.

Heart Disease

There are several theories which explain the link between heart disease and periodontitis.  One such theory is that the oral bacteria strains which exacerbate periodontal disease attach themselves to the coronary arteries when they enter the bloodstream.  This in turn contributes to both blood clot formation and the narrowing of the coronary arteries, possibly leading to a heart attack.

Atherosclerosis is the thickening of the arteries and the narrowing of the lumen of the blood vessels and this contributes to your heart disease.  We must control the amount of Bacterial Plaque as well as the amount of choelesterol that you ingest.

A second possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease causes a significant plaque build up.  This can swell the arteries and worsen pre-existing heart conditions.  An article published by the American Academy of Periodontology suggests that patients whose bodies react to periodontal bacteria have an increased risk of developing heart disease.

Pregnancy Complications

Women in general are at increased risk of developing periodontal disease because of hormone fluctuations that occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. 

At the time of purberty for girls the homonal changes have an affect on the gingival tissues and may be of great concern. 

Research suggests that pregnant women suffering from periodontal disease are more at risk of preeclampsia and delivering underweight, premature babies.

Periodontitis increases levels of prostaglandin, which is one of the labor-inducing chemicals.  Elevated levels prostaglandin may trigger premature labor, and increase the chances of delivering an underweight baby.  Periodontal disease also elevates C-reactive proteins (which have previously been linked to heart disease).  Heightened levels of these proteins can amplify the inflammatory response of the body and increase the chances of preeclampsia and low birth weight babies.

Respiratory Disease

Oral bacterium linked with gum disease has been shown to possibly cause or worsen conditions such as emphysema, pneumonia and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).  Oral bacteria can be drawn into the lower respiratory tract during the course of normal inhalation and colonize; causing bacterial infections.  Studies have shown that the repeated infections which characterize COPD may be linked with periodontitis.

In addition to the bacterial risk, inflammation in gum tissue can lead to severe inflammation in the lining of the lungs, which aggravates pneumonia.  Individuals who suffer from chronic or persistent respiratory issues generally have low immunity.  This means that Bacteria Plaque can readily colonize beneath the gum line unchallenged by body’s immune system.

Drs. Dennis Nishimine, Dee Nishimine, & Sophia Tseng will encourgage your daily oral hygiene of Brushing &  Flossing to control or reduce the amount of Bacterial Plaque present which in turn is affecting you systemically.

If you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease and the mouth-body connection, please ask our Periodontal  Implant Team.  We care about your overall health and want you to have a  Beautiful Smile!  Contact us