No Joke… Ignoring Your Teeth Could Kill You

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Sophisticated Smiles Gum Disease Brad

The Red Flags of Periodontal Disease:

• Blood on your toothbrush after brushing 
• Blood on your floss after flossing 
• Sore, shiny red or swollen gums 
• Wobbly and/or loose teeth 
• Gums receding around the teeth 
• Untreatable offensive breath (halitosis) 
• Pus or white film around the base of the teeth 
• Sharp pain when you chew or bite on something 
• Recent change in your bite 
• Recently developed spaces between teeth 
• Food getting lodged up in your gums

Periodontal disease, often called gum disease, is a slowly-developing infection that comes from more than 500 different kinds of germs in your mouth that are known to also attack the organs of your body.

According to published statistics, more than 60 million people in this country show signs of periodontal (gum) disease, a chronic bacterial infection that can destroy the gums and bone supporting the teeth. As periodontal disease progresses, bacterial waste products slowly destroy the gum tissue. Eventually, the bacteria break through and enter your bloodstream. These circulating bacteria trigger an inflammatory reaction in vulnerable areas of the body. For seniors, children and anyone with a weakened immune system, this new assault might be the element with a complicating effect on their pre-existing medical conditions.

Research has also shown medicine for various internal conditions like heart problems, pulmonary disease such as emphysema or COPD, diabetes, orthopedic replacement, kidney failure, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and/or pregnancy could be diminished by micro-organisms from periodontal disease.

Sophisticated Smiles Periodontal Illustration 3

Doctors Are Now Advise Saying, “Ahhh” To Prevent Heart Disease 

By coming to see our hygienists to help prevent periodontal disease, you are saying, “No” to developing cardiovascular problems. 

Peer-reviewed research has revealed that adults with gum disease have a significantly greater chance of having coronary artery disease than those who don’t. Researchers believe that bacteria originating from persistent oral infections can spread through the bloodstream and have a contributing effect on heart disease and other parts of the body.

For the past decade, recurring studies have determined that there is a definite association between periodontal disease and coronary heart disease. One consequence of unchecked periodontal disease is the loss of teeth. When the gums become very diseased, your teeth usually start falling out.

Researchers in Finland decided to look for an association between the number of missing teeth in a person and the rate of diagnosed heart disease in the group. They looked at 1,384 men between the ages of 45 and 64. The researchers discovered that those men with a higher number of missing teeth from ongoing gum disease also had a greater likelihood of having heart disease. Their conclusions? Gum disease raises the danger of heart attack by as much as 25 percent. It increases the risk of having a stroke by 1000%.

Gum Disease Could Cause Type II Diabetes

For years dentists knew that people who have diabetes are more prone to develop periodontal disease. A recent study is now revealing that vice-versa is also the case: people with chronic gum infections are more likely to get diabetes. Investigators looked at results from an ongoing U.S. health study and discovered that those who had ongoing periodontitis when the survey started twenty years ago had greater odds of developing Type II diabetes.
This study supports the theory that those with ongoing periodontal disease are more in danger of developing Type II diabetes.

Finally, did you know:
• The American Diabetes Association states periodontal disease causes diabetes.
• Family members with periodontal disease are 2 times more likely to have insulin resistance.
• When Type II diabetics also have elevated gum disease, they are seven times more likely to die.

Periodontal Disease Get’s Into Your Lungs

There is a unique way that periodontal disease hurts your lungs. Bacteria attacking your gums get into your saliva. The bacteria hitches a ride on the water vapor in the air you take in with every breath. This fine mist of bacteria and moisture finds its way deep into your lungs. Eventually, this can develop into pneumonia. This can be very dangerous for the aged or people who have generalized weakened immunity, or family and loved ones who have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

What This All Means To Dentists

Previously, dentists strived to save your teeth through regular dental care. Today, there is much more to be taken into consideration. If you have an inflammatory condition like periodontal disease, you’re in danger of developing more serious systemic problems, whether it’s heart problems, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis. Today, as we manage the health of your teeth, we’re not just saving your teeth, which in itself is an admirable commitment, we could also be protecting your life as well.

Dr. Szierer concludes, “It is no longer good enough to just keep watch on at-risk areas in the gums. Rather, aggressively controlling periodontal disease will become a critical action step in preserving and improving our patients’ overall health and their enjoyment of life. To be exact, our patients will not be totally healthy unless they are periodontally healthy.”

Contact Us

  • Sophisticated Smiles
  • Mark Szierer, DMD
  • 85 Reaville Ave
  • Flemington, NJ 08822
  • Phone: (908) 806-4333
  • Fax: (908) 806-2024

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