No Joke… Ignoring Your Teeth Could Kill You
No Joke… Ignoring Your Teeth Could Kill You
Orally-related disease is the most rampant ongoing infectious disease across the globe, beating out the common cold. Studies undertaken in the United States indicate that more than half of adult Americans have gingivitis and almost a third have periodontitis.
The word “periodontal” means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is an insidious infection that slowly destroys the gums and bone anchoring your teeth. Periodontal disease can happen to just one tooth or a lot of your teeth. Periodontal disease has its origin when more than 500 different species of bacteria and plaque (that clear, sticky layer constantly growing on your teeth) make your gums become inflamed.
It may sound weird, but, the germs from gum disease are able to migrate throughout your body to vulnerable areas of the body like the heart, kidneys, lungs and the digestive organs. What you must realize is that gum disease is a bigger risk factor to one’s health than previously judged. In conclusion, if your health is important to you, don’t put off having regular cleanings and periodontal therapy.
At Advanced Dental Center, our periodontal care program uses the latest technologies to deep-clean teeth and eliminate the bacterial component that can cause bleeding and bone loss. We use enhanced cleaning instruments and antibiotics, and also strive to involve patients in a team approach to saving their teeth. When patients are motivated in their oral hygiene, this provides the best chance to solve periodontal problems efficiently, comfortably and cost-effectively – with soft tissue management.
Studies have also concluded any treatment you are receiving for numerous internal conditions like cardiovascular disease, lung disease such as emphysema or COPD, diabetes, hip replacement, kidney failure, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and/or pregnancy could be obstructed by germs from gum disease.
The Red Flags of Periodontal Disease:
When you visit Griffin’ hygienists to help prevent periodontal disease, you are decreasing your chances for developing heart attack and heart failure.
The way that gum disease affects your heart is that periodontal disease fires off a series of chemical events that encourage swelling and inflammation throughout the body. When plaque lining the arteries causes the arteries to become inflamed, blood clots can form, putting you at danger for heart attack or stroke. In addition, bacteria originating from the mouth may also adhere to the inner lining of the heart, thereby causing infective endocarditis.
Since the year, 2000, a number of studies have determined that there is a proven connection between periodontal disease and coronary heart disease. One inevitability of unchecked periodontal disease is the loss of teeth. When gum disease gets bad enough, your teeth usually start falling out.
Finnish researchers looked at the correlation 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. What they discovered was that those men with a higher number of missing teeth from chronic periodontal disease also had a greater likelihood of having heart disease. Their conclusions? Gum disease raises the danger of heart attack by as much as 25 percent. It increases the likelihood of having a stroke by a factor of 10.
There is a unique way that gum disease hurts your lungs. Bacteria in your your gums get into your saliva. It may then adhere to water vapor in the air you inhale with every breath. These bacteria-laden water droplets goes deep into your lungs, potentially causing pulmonary infection and pneumonia. This might just be the last straw for the elderly or folks who are dealing with generalized weakened immunity, especially those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Over the years it was known that diabetics are more prone to get periodontal disease. Research is now suggesting that the reverse may also be true: people with chronic gum infections are more likely to get diabetes. Investigators analyzed numbers from a big health survey and uncovered the fact that those who had ongoing periodontitis when the survey started twenty years ago were more likely to get diabetes.
This study appears to prove the conclusion that people with chronic infections like periodontitis are more in danger of developing Type II diabetes.
Finally, did you know:
In the past, dental professionals focused on saving your teeth with regular cleanings. In the future, there is much more to be taken into consideration. If you have an inflammatory condition like periodontal disease, you are more at risk for more serious systemic problems, whether it’s heart problems, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis. In the future, as we manage the health of your teeth, we aren’t just saving your teeth, which in itself is an admirable goal, we could also be protecting your life as well.
Dr. Griffin concludes, “It is not enough anymore to just keep an eye on suspicious spots in the gums. Given this new research, aggressively controlling periodontal disease will become a top priority for 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.”