Gum Disease and Your Health

     A very important connection has been established between gum disease, (also known as periodontal disease), and your overall health.  Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney dysfunction, hypertension, respiratory issues, arthritis, pregnancy complications, and even cancer.

     The link is this:  when we have gum disease, our gums usually bleed.  This happens when we are eating, brushing, or flossing.  Sometimes it isn’t even noticeable.  When the gums bleed, this opens up a passageway for the bacteria that is in our mouths to enter the bloodstream.  Once in the bloodstream, this bacteria can have a negative effect on our immune system.  It creates an inflammatory response throughout our bodies, marked by the release of C-reactive protein by the liver.  A blood test can screen for elevated levels of C-reactive protein, indicating that inflammation is present in the body.

     Our best defense in battling gum disease is with regular dental cleanings and periodontal treatment when indicated, as well as great home-care.  In our office we use the diode laser as an extra level of defense.  During your routine periodontal screening, we measure not only the level of bone and gum support, but also whether or not your tissue is bleeding.  Our goal is to get everyone to a level of health where there is no bleeding present, and to maintain your oral health to optimize your overall well-being.