PERIODONTAL DISEASE OVERALL HEALTH

I am becoming more and more aware and concerned with the link between oral health and overall health.  Taking care of your oral health positively contributes to your overall health Featured imageand well-being.  Researchers have established links between gum disease and other health ailments.  While it is not perfectly clear whether there is a cause and effect relationship, we do know that there are links between gum disease and many other health conditions.  We know that gum disease can be prevented, treated and sometimes reversed, which indicates that patients may be able to influence their overall health by actively managing their oral health.

Prevention is the key.  Good oral home care routines combined with regular dental visits is the best way to prevent gum disease.  Brushing, flossing and rinsing at home helps reduce the build up of plaque.  By maintaining regular dental visits we can remove additional plaque and monitor gum disease warning signs.  We will discuss any evidence of gum disease with you so that you can also manage any changes in your overall health.  Here are some links that have been demonstrated between oral health and overall health.

  • Heart Disease & Stroke: People with gum disease are almost TWICE as likely to suffer coronary artery disease as those without gum disease.
  • Pulmonary Infection: Harmful bacteria from gum infections has been linked with pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Osteoporosis: Women with osteoporosis may be at higher risk for gum disease and people with gum disease may be at a higher risk of underlying osteoporosis.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, which in turn can make it more difficult to control blood sugar.
  • Oral Cancer: An association has been found between serious periodontal disease and pre-cancerous lesions and oral tumors.
  • Pregnancy: Periodontal disease during pregnancy has been linked with toxemia, pre-term delivery and babies with lower birth weights.

Periodontal disease is a condition that can be successfully treated and managed.  Remember to brush, floss and rinse your teeth.  Never share your toothbrush and replace it regularly.  It really doesn’t matter what brand of toothbrush you use, as long as it has soft or medium strength bristles.  The best toothbrush to use is the one that you will use!

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116
Phone: (440) 331-7380

PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Did you know that almost half of the U.S. population aged 30 years and older have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis (gum disease)?  According to new research from the Featured imageJournal of Dental Research in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) periodontitis is prominent.  Nearly two-thirds of adults over age 65 have moderate to severe forms of periodontal disease.

What is periodontal disease?  It is an inflammatory disease characterized by loss of connective tissue between the teeth and gums.  It is the number-one cause of tooth loss in adults as bacteria growth in the mouth can destroy the tissue that surrounds your teeth.  Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes gum disease.  Bacteria in the plaque build up and cause the gums to become inflamed and to bleed easily during tooth brushing.  In the early stages of gingivitis, the gums may be irritated, but the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets.  If gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontal disease.  When this happens the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets.  These small spaces between the teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected.  Your body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows beneath the gum line.  As the disease progresses, gum tissue and bone are destroyed.  When this happens the teeth become loose and tooth loss occurs.

Although plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, other contributors include: hormonal changes, illnesses, medications, tobacco use, poor oral hygiene habits and family history of dental disease. Pay attention to the warning signs of gum disease and ask us about any questions that you may have.  The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during or after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down or in the fit of partial dentures

Periodontal disease is a condition that can be successfully treated and managed.  Remember to brush, floss and rinse your teeth.  Never share your toothbrush and replace it regularly.  Oral bacteria can be passed to others, which can spread bacteria and potentially lead to periodontal disease.

Dr. Terry Hunt
River Dental Arts
1690 Wright Ave
Rocky River, OH 44116
Phone: (440) 331-7380