Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

The Dental Center, LLC Gum Disease Brad

The Red Flags of Gum Disease:

  • Bleeding gums after brushing your teeth
  • Gums bleeding after flossing your teeth
  • Aching, shiny red or swollen gums
  • Loose and/or wobbly teeth
  • Tooth roots becoming exposed
  • Never-ending bad breath (halitosis)
  • Pus or white film between the teeth
  • Discomfort when chewing or biting
  • Recent change in your bite
  • Recently developed spaces between teeth
  • Food “packing” into your gums

Orally-related disease is the most commonly-occuring chronic bacterial illness around the world, beating out the everyday head cold. Research studies completed in the United States reveal that half of adults have gingivitis and about 30% have periodontitis.

Gum disease is a chronic bacterial infection that silently eats away at the gums and bone that support teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or the majority of your teeth. Gum disease starts when more than 500 different species of bacteria and plaque (that sticky, colorless bio-film forming on your teeth every day) make your gums become inflamed.

It may sound weird, but, the germs from gum disease are able to migrate all over your body to vital organs, joints and muscles. What you must realize is that periodontal disease may be a far more serious threat to your health than previously realized. Therefore, if you want to live longer, take action now to protect your gums.

In addition to gum disease’s negative effect on your internal organs, the bacteria might also compromise any medicine you are receiving for any medical condition.

The Dental Center, LLC Periodontal Illustration 1

Drs. David Bell, Barbara Honor and Brian Bell Are Now Advising Saying, “Ahhh” To Prevent Heart Disease 

By having regular cleanings and periodontal therapy to help prevent periodontal disease, you are aggressively lowering your odds of developing heart attack and heart failure. 

Understand that the way that gum disease affects your heart is that periodontal disease triggers a chain of chemical events that foment swelling and inflammation across the entire body. When plaque lining the arteries causes the arteries to become inflamed, it can cause blood clots, leading to heart attack or stroke. In addition, gum disease germs may also stick to the lining inside the heart, thereby causing infective endocarditis.

For the past decade, a number of studies have determined that there is a definite association between periodontal disease and coronary heart disease. One consequence of unchecked periodontal disease is the loss of teeth. After the gums have been diseased long-term, your teeth usually start falling out.

Researchers in Finland decided to look for an association between the number of missing teeth in a person and the rate of diagnosed heart disease in the group. They looked at 1,384 men aged 45 to 64 years. The researchers discovered that those men with a higher number of missing teeth from chronic periodontal disease also had a higher incidence of heart disease. Their conclusions? Gum disease raises the danger of heart attack by as much as 25 percent. It increases the danger of having a stroke by 1000%.

With Gum Disease, Breathing In Might Be A Risk To Your Lungs

According to numerous studies, periodontal disease may harm your lungs. First, bacteria in your your gums enter the saliva. It may then adhere to water vapor within the air you pull in every time you breathe. These bacteria-laden water droplets may be aspirated into the lungs. There the bacteria begins to colonize into a case of pneumonia. This is a very bad situation for older family members or people who are dealing with a compromised immune system, including anyone suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Gum Disease Likely To Predict Type II Diabetes

While people with diabetes are known to be at risk for gum disease, we didn’t know which came first, the diabetes or the periodontal disease. In 1993, researchers at Columbia University’s School of Public Health studied a representative sample of 9,000 adults who were not diabetics. Over time, 817 of them went on to develop the disease. It was found that if a participant had advanced periodontal disease, they had twice the odds of getting diabetes inside of twenty years, even if the person had other risk factors, including:

  • smoking
  • being elderly
  • being obese
  • eating an unhealthy diet.

“These facts indicate that periodontal disease causes diabetes,” according to Dr. Demmer, associate research scientist in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s School of Public Health.

What This All Means To Dentists

Previously, dental practices focused on saving your teeth through regular dental care. From now on, our attention must expand beyond the mouth. If you have an inflammatory condition like periodontal disease, it puts you at a higher risk for more serious systemic problems, whether it’s heart problems, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis. From now on, as we take care of your mouth, not only do we save your teeth, which in itself is a very good objective, we could also be protecting your life as well.

Drs. David Bell, Barbara Honor or Brian Bell concludes, “It is not enough anymore to just keep watch on trouble spots in the gums. Instead, aggressively controlling periodontal disease will be a critical action step in preserving and improving our patients’ overall health and their enjoyment of life. To be exact, our patients will not be totally healthy unless they are periodontally healthy.”

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