July 31, 2012

Healthy Gums Can Lead To A Healthier Body

Inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease, and periodontal (gum) disease increases the inflammation level throughout the body.  Since several studies show that people with gum or teeth problems also have an increased risk for heart disease, more cardiologists and dentists are joining forces for the improved health of their patients.  Dentists can serve as your first line of defense against future heart disease.

One study, looking at women with periodontal bacteria in their mouths, reported that they were more likely to have jawbone loss resulting in tooth loss. 

Scientists have found that bacteria growing in the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs to cause serious respiratory illness such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease. 

This discovery has led to the belief that such a mouth-body link can cause infections like chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).  The question now is, “To what extend does oral hygiene play a part of reducing the frequency of COPD?”

Bacteria in the mouth through the exchange of saliva can also be shared amongst couples, children, and families, spreading the risk of periodontal disease more quickly.

Premature and underweight babies are seven times more likely from women with periodontal disease than from those without.  For a long time risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, and drug use were known to contribute to risky pregnancies.  Now periodontal disease can be added to the list.

The increase in blood sugar that often accompanies periodontal disease contributes to the higher risk for diabetic complications.  Therefore, patients with both diseases should be treated to eliminate the infections of the gums.  In addition, it’s been found that poorly controlled Type 2 diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease than are well-controlled diabetics.

The connection between oral disease and systemic disease is backed by scientific findings, and it makes common sense.  After all, the mouth is a part of the body – it’s the gateway to the entire body.

For information about other dental topics visit www.TavorminaDentistry.com

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