The Facts Are: Bacteria in the mouth travels to other parts of your body in the blood stream. Bacteria and inflammation are linked to gum disease and play a role in some systemic diseases or conditions. Researchers have found that gum disease is linked with other health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatic and kidney cancer. Likewise, pregnant women with gum disease have only a 1 in 7 chance of giving birth to a healthy child of normal size. Evidence suggests that oral bacteria may be linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. People with gum disease are twice as likely to die from heart disease and three times as likely to die from a stroke. Gum disease also increases the risk of head and neck cancer and increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.