Gum Disease and How It Affects Your Whole Body
Ask the average person what the most common disease among American adults is, and there is a good chance that he or she might be stumped for an answer. There is an equally good chance that he or she might be shocked by the actual answer: gum disease. In fact, roughly 80 percent of American adults suffer from gum disease to varying degrees, yet many will remain unaware of their condition until they have suffered some tangible damage to their mouths. While modern restorative dentistry techniques will help to reconstruct teeth that have been damaged due to poor oral health, it is imperative that gum disease first be resolved. Otherwise, the results of any restorative dental work would be less than optimal.
There are other reasons that it is important to treat gum disease, however. In addition to the profoundly negative effects it has on your oral health, gum disease can affect the health of your entire body. Indeed, clinical studies have shown that there is a link between the health of your gums and the health of nearly every major system in your body, including your cardiovascular system and your respiratory system.
At Sonoran Dental Design, Dr. Ann Sielicki and Dr. Luke Jacobsen provide a comprehensive range of dental treatments, including periodontal treatments, designed to restore optimal oral health. They are firm believers in the power of patient education, which is why they take the time to explain gum disease and how it affects the whole body during consultations at their Scottsdale, AZ dental practice. We encourage you to schedule your consultation and thorough oral exam, including a periodontal screening, at Sonoran Dental Design today.
What Is the Connection between Gum Disease and the Health of the Whole Body?
As little as fifteen years ago, the connection between the health of the mouth and the health of the entire body was scarcely understood. There were many theories, but not a lot of supporting data, and seemingly not a lot of interest in the medical world at large, despite the fact that the mouth is the gateway to the body. And that gateway is host to trillions of bacteria - some useful and beneficial, some very, very harmful.
The bacteria responsible for the plaque that develops on your teeth are also responsible for the development of gum disease. As gum disease progresses toward its more severe form, periodontitis - which it will inevitably do if left untreated - an extremely dangerous bacterium, porphyomonas gingivalis, will be introduced into the mouth. While the relationship between this particular bacterium and diseases in the body is not precisely known, advanced periodontal disease has been linked to an increased risk of:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Cancer, specifically kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, and blood cancers among men
- Uncontrolled blood sugar levels in diabetics
The good news is that, when gum disease is properly treated and managed, there is evidence that the risk of these diseases can be reduced.
Learn More about Gum Disease and How It Affects the Whole Body
To learn more about gum disease and how it affects the health of your entire body, or to schedule your initial consultation and oral exam, please contact Sonoran Dental Design today.