Is Gum Disease a Sign of Something More Serious?

Several Health Conditions Linked to Gum Disease

It is common to believe that poor oral hygiene is the root cause of all gum disease. In many cases, it is. However, red or swollen gums may indicate other health problems unrelated to oral hygiene. Because these conditions can be dangerous, any changes or abnormalities in the gums must be closely monitored.

Because mouth sores and swollen gums are fairly common, most people are unlikely to be concerned. The truth is that taking them seriously can aid in the early detection of illnesses.


Lupus can cause gum sores and ulcers. Because they are not always painful, these types of gum abnormalities are frequently overlooked. While some canker sores are not symptoms of a disease, seeing a dentist is still recommended if the condition occurs frequently or does not heal.

Cardiovascular illness

Plaque buildup on teeth and gums may be linked to plaque buildup in the arteries, according to the Harvard Heart Letter. Gum disease makes people twice as likely to have a stroke, heart attack, or other serious cardiovascular problems. While there is no direct link, chronic inflammation, such as that seen in gingivitis, is known to play a role in atherosclerosis.

Gluten intolerance

Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease that weakens the immune system. Because a weakened body is more vulnerable to bacteria, the first areas to be affected are often those that are more easily exposed to bacteria, such as the mouth. Food and beverages consumed throughout the day contain and nourish bacteria, which, if left on the gums, can cause inflammation quickly. Gums that swell and form ulcers despite good oral hygiene can be an early sign of an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s disease.

The blood pressure is high

High blood pressure and some blood pressure medications can both cause gum disease. High blood pressure patients frequently have swollen or bloody gums. If the gums are inflamed or easily bloodied, a blood pressure test may be recommended.


Diabetes can cause the gums to swell, turn red, and even pull away from the teeth by reducing the amount of blood that reaches them. This is particularly concerning because periodontal disease can result in high blood pressure, which can lead to diabetic complications. People who have gum infection symptoms may benefit from a diabetes screening.


Gum disease is distinguished by swollen, inflamed gums. Periodontal disease, rather than simply a lack of oral hygiene, can be the body’s way of signaling other, more serious underlying conditions. Furthermore, gum problems caused by poor oral hygiene can lead to health problems, so taking care of the gums has a direct impact on the overall health of the body. Make an appointment with Forestwood Dental today.