Posts for tag: periodontal disease
Remember how at Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuventation and Wellness we are always talking about how your oral health affects your overall health? Well, a recent study discovered that there is actually a link between certain types of cancer and periodontal disease. “Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore used data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, which included comprehensive dental exams from 7466 participants from Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Carolina. Subjects were followed from the late 1990s until 2012. The data showed that 1648 new cancer cases were diagnosed during the follow-up period.”
Let’s back track a little first and talk about what periodontal disease is and how you get it.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plague. “Interestingly, it is your body's response to the bacterial infection that causes most of the problems. In an effort to eliminate the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release substances that cause inflammation and destruction of the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. This leads to swollen, bleeding gums, signs of gingivitis (the earliest stage of periodontal disease), and loosening of the teeth, a sign of severe periodontitis (the advanced stage of disease).”
When your oral hygiene routine is subpar and or you don’t keep up with your biannual teeth cleanings, your risk of developing periodontal disease is very high. Smoking, misaligned teeth, grinding, stress, certain medications, certain types of chronic ailments, and genetics also play into your risk factor. This preventable disease has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
Now, on top of the fact that you could lose your teeth, develop heart disease, or have a stroke from having periodontal disease, but you might also develop cancer. The study found that there was a significant increase in the risk of developing lung and colon cancer in particular in patients who also suffered from severe periodontal disease. Some aspects of our health are out of our control, but fortunately a great deal is within out control; and your oral hygiene and health is definitely one of those things.
If you find that your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss, talk to Dr. Steve or Dr. Blake during your next visit, as this is an early sign of periodontal disease. It is far easier to a prevent disease than it is to cure one. Preventative healthcare is the best approach to your health and well-being and by preventing periodontal disease, you are helping to prevent a lot of other diseases in your future.
Your mouth is a window into what’s going on in your body. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, 90% of systemic diseases show signs and symptoms inside of your mouth. A lot of diseases and conditions can also be tested for from your salvia, such as osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. Along with being a window into your overall health, the health of your teeth, gums, and oral cavity can greatly contribute to the health of the rest of your body.
Did you know that at any given moment there can be up to 500 different types of bacteria in your mouth? This is why it is so important that you brush and floss after each meal and come and visit us twice a year for a professional cleaning and exam. When the bacteria in your mouth gets out of control from lack of proper hygiene, plague builds up and the road to periodontal disease begins.
Numerous studies have taken place in recent years to examine the link between oral health and other deadly maladies such as cardiovascular disease. While the research is still on going, there appears to be a very strong link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. Oral inflammation caused by the build-up of plague may contribute to clogged arteries and blood clots elsewhere. Inflammation in your mouth may also cause inflammation in other parts of your body. And remember, inflammation is the root of most chronic diseases.
While there are many different factors that play into why one develops heart disease, ranging from genetics to personal lifestyle choices, taking care of your oral health is an easy preventative measure. It is far easier to prevent periodontal disease and heart disease than it is to deal with advanced stages of it. Brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal, coming in for biannual cleanings and check-ups, and drinking more water and avoiding sugary drinks and foods can help reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, which includes a heart attack or stroke.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to damaged cells, viruses, and foreign bacteria. It is our body’s amazing way of self-healing. However, when inflammation becomes chronic is can wreak havoc on our bodies in the form of multiple diseases and conditions. It is believed that inflammation is actually at the root of most diseases.
More often than not, modern medicine seems to be aimed at treating the symptoms, pains, and aliments that we are facing verses helping us to dig deeper to find and combat the root of our problems. It would appear to be easier and much quicker to just address and diminish the symptoms rather than to figure out the true cause. This is a misconception and rather dangerous health mindset though. When inflammation is at the root, the symptoms, diseases, and conditions that follow can be life altering or threatening.
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Heart disease is inflammation of the arteries. Periodontal disease is inflammation of the gums and the surrounding bone structure. Asthma, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, cancer, and even high blood pressure have been linked to chronic inflammation. The list goes on and there is still medical research that needs to be conducted and studied, but all arrows seem to be pointing at chronic inflammation as the root of all evils in our bodies.
The good news though is that chronic inflammation can be reduced and even prevented. A lot of it is linked to our lifestyle choices. Inflammation is increased by certain behaviors such as excessive drinking and smoking, lack of exercise, high body fat, poor diet, bad oral hygiene habits, and even mismanaged or constant stress. Simple lifestyle changes can monumentally affect our health even so far as our longevity. It is far easier to take small steps toward potentially preventing maladies such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease rather than try and fix ourselves after a diagnosis. Let us show you how as we continue this mini series.
Did you know that there is a direct link between having periodontal disease and other major health complications? Periodontal diseases are infections of the structures, such as the gums, around the teeth. These infections are caused by bacteria and can lead to swollen and bleeding gums, gingivitis, the destruction of the gums and jawbone, and eventually the loss of your teeth. All of that in and of it sounds terrible, but there is more. Having periodontal disease puts you at a high risk of developing many other horrible maladies, and oftentimes they are life long health problems.
Studies have been conducted and research is still underway, but periodontal disease has been linked to the following health issues: respiratory disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney, blood, and pancreatic cancer. You would be concerned if you washed your hair every morning and your head bled. However, most people don’t express that same concern when they brush their teeth and their gums bleed. It is still up for debate as to why periodontal disease is so closely linked with these other health problems, but most research suggests it has to do with the bacterial component and complications due to inflammation.
So what causes periodontal disease, and how can you prevent it from happening to you?
According to www.colgateprofessional.com, “periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plaque, the sticky substance that forms on your teeth a couple of hours after you have brushed. Interestingly, it is your body's response to the bacterial infection that causes most of the problems. In an effort to eliminate the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release substances that cause inflammation and destruction of the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. This leads to swollen, bleeding gums, signs of gingivitis (the earliest stage of periodontal disease), and loosening of the teeth, a sign of severe periodontitis (the advanced stage of disease).”
Don’t worry though periodontal disease is preventable! Ensuring that you consistently practice proper oral hygiene is the best way to prevent this from happening to you. Make sure your always brush your teeth between meals, floss at least once a day, add mouthwash to your oral routine, and be sure to get an annual CPE (comprehensive periodontal evaluation). Practicing other healthy habits like not smoking and eating a nutritionally balanced diet only further benefit your oral and overall health.
Talk to Dr. Blake or Dr. Steve at your next appointment if you have any concerns, questions, or want to know if you are at a greater risk. It is easier to prevent it than it is to treat advanced consequences.
Thank you for sharing a smile with us this week.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that nearly half of Americans older than 30 had some signs of periodontal disease. That's more than 64 million people.
How much do you know about this potentially serious disease? Take our quiz and find out.
True or False: Gum Disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth
TRUE. Of the hundreds of types of bacteria that occur naturally in the mouth, only a small percentage are harmful. But when oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) is lacking, these can build up in a dental plaque, or biofilm. This often causes inflammation of the gums, the first step in the progression of gum disease.
True or False: Gum disease is more prevalent among younger people
FALSE. Gum disease is most often a chronic disease, meaning that it progresses over time. Statistics show that as we age, our chances of developing gum disease increase, as does the disease's severity. In fact, according to the study mentioned above, about 70% of adults 65 and over have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, or gum disease.
True or False: Bleeding of the gums shows that you're brushing too hard
FALSE. You might be brushing too hard — but any bleeding of the gum tissue is abnormal. Gum sensitivity, redness and bleeding are typically the early warning signs of gum disease. Another is bad breath, which may be caused by the same harmful bacteria. If you notice these symptoms, it's time for a checkup.
True or False: Smokers are more likely to develop gum disease
TRUE. Not only are smokers more likely to develop gum disease, but in its later stages they typically show more rapid bone loss. Smoking also prevents the warning signs of gum disease - bleeding and swelling of the gum tissues - from becoming apparent. Other risk factors for developing the disease include diabetes and pregnancy (due to hormonal changes). Genetics is also thought to play a role in who gets the disease — so if you have a family history of gum disease, you should be extra vigilant.
True or False: The effects of gum disease are limited to the mouth
FALSE. Numerous studies suggest that there is a relationship between periodontal health and overall health. Severe gum disease, a chronic inflammatory disease, is thought to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. It may also lead to complications in pregnancy, and problems of blood-sugar control in diabetics.
So if you have any risk factors for gum disease, or if you notice possible symptoms, don't ignore it: let us have a look. We can quickly evaluate your condition and recommend the appropriate treatments if necessary. With proper management, and your help in prevention, we can control gum disease.
If you have concerns about gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease” and “Warning Signs of Periodontal (Gum) Disease.”