Periodontal Disease and Respiratory Disease

Recent research has also proven that bacteria found in the mouth and throat can be drawn into the lower respiratory tract and cause infection or worsen existing lung conditions.

Respiratory disease occurs when droplets of germs are inhaled from the mouth and throat into the lungs. The droplets can spread and multiply within the lungs to impair breathing.

Bacteria that grows in the oral cavity and travels into the lungs can also cause pneumonia. This occurs mostly in patients with periodontal disease. Periodontal disease has also been proven to have a role in the contraction of bronchitis and emphysema. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a respiratory condition characterized by blockage of the airways, and caused mostly by smoking, has also been proven to worsen if the patient also has periodontal disease.

One of the reasons for the connection between respiratory problems and periodontal disease is low immunity. Patients who experience respiratory problems generally have low immunity, meaning that bacteria can easily grow above and below the gum lines without being confronted by the body’s immune system. Once periodontal disease is contracted, respiratory issues will continue to progress and worsen.

Inflammation of the oral tissue has also been linked to respiratory problems. Oral bacteria causing the irritation can travel to the lungs, and contribute to the inflammation of the lung lining. This creates respiratory problems because it limits the amount of air that can be passed freely through the lungs.

If you are diagnosed with respiratory disease or periodontal disease, Dr. Hess, Dr. Davis and Dr. Streem will work with your physician to plan how to best treat both conditions and eliminate further complications.