Blair Bittner, DDS, is a family dentist who has treated many patients with oral health problems throughout Southern California. When most people think about dental health, they imagine common issues like cavities and toothaches. However, oral care services provided by professionals like Blair Bittner may help prevent a much wider range of problems, according to the latest research.

Scientists have documented links between gum disease and life-threatening problems like diabetes and heart disease. Medical research has also demonstrated connections between the bacteria responsible for gingivitis and Alzheimer’s. Such intersections between seemingly disparate conditions led a professor at the University of Birmingham to suggest that treating gum disease may help combat some of the most costly and devastating illnesses in the world.

For instance, cardiac conditions cost Americans nearly $109 billion annually, and diabetes costs more than twice as much. A recent study performed by Steve Engebreston of the New York University College of Dentistry concluded that treating gum disease lowers blood sugar. Researchers have only just begun to delve into the interactions between oral health and heart disease.