Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

Maybe It Is Your Problem

It hides in your mouth, destroying gum tissue and teeth, and it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and pregnancy complications. Don't think it's your problem? Conservative estimates report that up to 80 percent of the population unknowingly has gum disease in some form.

Seventy percent of adult tooth loss is attributed to gum disease . Recent research shows a link between patients who have gum disease and those who suffer from strokes, heart attacks, or complications with diabetes or pregnancy. Gum disease is silent in that early symptoms may be painless and mild, like swollen gums or bleeding while brushing. Regular dental checkups are vital because a professional can detect, treat, and reverse gum disease in early stages before major problems arise.

Cause and Effect

Several factors contribute to periodontal disease : plaque buildup, heredity, and lifestyle choices. By far, the most common and controllable factor is bacterial plaque, the sticky, colorless film produced by normal oral bacteria. Bacteria release toxins that break down the natural fibers that bond gums to teeth. When this occurs, pockets between the gums and teeth form, and more bacteria and toxins hide, flourish, and destroy your gums and teeth. Over time, this process can affect not only gums, teeth, and bone within the mouth, but also overall health. Bacteria in your mouth will be inadvertently ingested, and this can compromise your whole-body health.

Links between Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease

Studies involving almost 50,000 people in four different countries continue to verify the association between periodontal disease and heart disease. The culprit appears to be a common strain of bacteria found in periodontal disease . It seems to cause blood clots that can induce a heart attack if they escape into the bloodstream. Chronic inflammation that is the hallmark of periodontal disease is also involved in the inflammation of the blood vessel lining which can lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis). So you can now add periodontal disease to the other major determinants of cardiovascular disease...smoking, hypertension, excess lipids in the bloodstream, diabetes, genetic predisposition, stress, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity.

Periodontal disease has also been implicated as a risk factor in other systemic diseases. The risk of strokes in people with this problem is almost three times that of people with healthy mouths. There is growing evidence that many chronic lung infections are caused by bacteria from the mouth being aspirated down into the lungs. Diabetes is aggravated by periodontal disease . This same bacteria may weaken the immune system and lead to slow wound healing and diminish a person's response to vaccines. Studies have shown that mothers with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to have low-weight and premature babies.

Together, you and we can improve not only your oral health, but add improvement to your overall health. Do not forget to come in for your regular dental checkups.

Maintaining Good Periodontal Health

Regular dental visits at least every six months allow us to keep a watchful eye on the health of your gums. You should also brush twice a day, floss once a day, and use good mouth rinses at home. We will recommend the products that will optimize your oral homecare, and we can also show you the best methods for brushing and flossing. If you have overcome periodontal disease, we will recommend frequent checkups to ensure your mouth stays healthy for a lifetime.

We welcome you and your family to experience state-of-the-art dentistry, excellent clinical care, and superb customer service. Call our Peru Office at (765) 473-9336 if you have any other questions or would like to schedule an appointment. Our Peru Dental Office is conveniently located for patients across from Peru High School in Peru Indiana . We welcome the opportunity to give you a Smile-for-Life!

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