Periodontal Disease and Your Body
Research has shown that there may be an association between periodontal disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, among others. Scientists believe that inflammation may be the cause behind the link between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions. Inflammation, the body's reaction to fight off infection, guard against injury, or shield against irritation, initially intends to have a protective effect. Untreated chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can lead to the destruction of affected tissues, which can lead to more serious health conditions.
Nutrition plays an important role in overall wellness, including oral health. Eating well and maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing problems in your mouth, including periodontal disease. In fact, including certain foods as part of a nutritious diet has actually been shown to play a role in the prevention of periodontal disease.
You may have seen stories in the news about the connection between periodontal disease and heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. However, those aren't the only health conditions that are related to periodontal disease. Research has shown that having periodontal disease can put you at risk for a few surprising conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, and even kidney disease.
Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the supporting bone and tissues around the teeth. The inflammatory reaction is your body's way of removing the toxins released by bacteria that live on your teeth and gums. However, when the inflammation lasts for too long or is too strong, it starts to break down the tissues around your teeth, including your gums and supporting bone. This may cause teeth to become loose and even fall out.
You are probably aware of the devastating effects that smoking and tobacco use can have on your heart, lungs, and other organs. However, you might not be familiar with the whole other mouthful of problems caused by tobacco use. For example, tobacco use is a significant risk factor in the development and progression of periodontal disease, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. The sooner you take aim at your tobacco use and quit, the closer you will be to healthy teeth and gums!
The American Diabetes Association defines diabetes as a serious disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life. Approximately 23.6 million Americans have diabetes; however, 5.7 million of them have not yet been diagnosed.
Gum disease and cardiovascular disease are both major public health issues that impact a large number of Americans every day. While these two diseases impact separate areas of the body, research indicates that periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are connected; having one disease may actually increase your risk of developing the other.
Cancer therapy can cause oral complications that compromise periodontal health, so a visit to your periodontist is important to help keep your gums healthy during this difficult time.
You may have heard recent reports about bisphosphonate drugs and their potential effect on periodontal health. These reports can be alarming and even misleading, especially for those taking bisphosphonates. The information below explains what bisphosphonates are, how they are related to periodontal health, and how bisphosphonates may impact your periodontal treatment.