Commonly Asked Questions
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the bone and tissues that support the teeth. Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. When someone has periodontal disease, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth. As the disease worsens, the gum tissue and bone that support the tooth are destroyed. Over time, the affected teeth may fall out or need to be extracted. Treating the periodontal disease early can prevent tooth loss.
What are common symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
If you notice any of the following, please see your dentist; bleeding gums, red, swollen, or tender gums, gums that pull away from the teeth, pus between the teeth and gums, bad breath that doesn't go away, loose or space between your teeth, change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite, or change in the fit of your partial denture.
Research suggests that periodontal disease and oral infections can be linked to systemic health. Diagnosing, understanding, and treating oral disease is crucial in keeping your body healthy. Current literature explores the link between periodontal disease and the following systemic issues:
Cardiovascular disease and inflammation Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the increased risk of heart disease.
Respiratory disease Research has found that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.
Diabetes Mellitus Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.
Adverse pregnancy outcomes Low birth weight babies may be a result of the mother’s inflammation from periodontal disease Osteoporosis Osteoporosis may lead to tooth loss due the bone density decreases
Rheumatoid arthritis Chronic inflammation of periodontal disease may exacerbate the chronic inflammation of arthritis. This inflammation may be due to the immune system fighting the oral bacteria of gum disease
Cerebral infarctions (strokes) People diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in a control group.
Cancer Research found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.
Celiac Disease/Crohns Increased inflammation from gum disease can make Celiac and Crohn's disease worse.
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