Have you ever wondered exactly how important your oral health is? Doctors both in the field of dentistry, as well as other studies of medicine, are discovering that oral health plays a big part in our overall health. In fact, studies by The American Dental Association (ADA) show that a majority of systemic diseases correlate with periodontal (gum) disease. These systemic diseases include cardiovascular (heart) disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and a variety of cancers. We believe in empowering our patients with knowledge. Dr. Miller considers it important to share this information with our patients on the Oral Systemic Link, periodontal disease and how preventive dentistry can save your life.
The chronic form of gum disease, Periodontitis, affects 50% of American adults.
Based on studies done by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the severe form of gum disease, known as Periodontitis, currently affects over 64.7 million American adults. This number doesn’t include patients who suffer from milder forms, such as gingivitis. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory illness that affects both the gums and eventually supporting bone structure surrounding the teeth. Early symptoms include swollen gums, inflammation, and irritation as a natural response to the present bacteria. As the disease progresses, the common symptom of bleeding gums allows for this harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream. In the bloodstream, the bacteria begin to wreak havoc on the patient’s organs.
Gum disease is now linked to a majority of systemic diseases.
Periodontal disease is presently linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, strokes, Alzheimer’s, and many cancers. That is still only naming a few. The most interesting finds are in the correlation between periodontal disease and diabetes. Doctors previously believed that periodontal disease was merely a complication of diabetes. However, studies done by the Journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes show that people with periodontal disease are three times more likely to develop diabetes. This proves that the relationship between these two diseases go both ways! This is not the only disease showing a two-way correlation with periodontal disease either.
Periodontal disease is preventable!
In fact, it is unbelievably easy to prevent periodontal disease! Preventive dentistry, great oral hygiene habits, and a balanced diet are what lead to lifelong, healthy gums. The best way to prevent gum disease is to brush your teeth twice per day, for two minutes each time, as well as flossing daily. Alcohol based mouthwash can be a great additional resource, but shouldn’t be utilized as a substitute for brushing or flossing. Through consistent, good oral hygiene habits you can lower your risk of both periodontal disease and its correlating illnesses. Your 6-month dental hygiene appointments are another great way to prevent and treat gum disease before it becomes a major threat to a patient’s oral and overall health.
We are dedicated to helping our patients achieve the best oral health possible. Through cutting-edge technology and research, we are offering our patients the best dental treatment available. For more information on the Oral Systemic Link and periodontal disease, please feel free to contact us today.