What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease (also known as Pyorrhea) is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Left untreated, it causes loss of the bone anchoring your teeth- and subsequent loss of the teeth.
According to the American Dental Association, Periodontal Disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Periodontal Disease & Heart Disease
Did you know that people with gum disease are FOUR times more likely to be afflicted with Heart Disease than people without gum disease?
That’s right. Recent studies at The University of Minnesota confirm that a chronic infection in your mouth (which is what Periodontal Disease is) allows the bacteria to enter your blood stream. These bacteria may cause blood clots and block your arteries, possibly even triggering a heart attack.
Other studies have shown that plaque bacteria entering the bloodstream through infected gums may also cause a potentially fatal heart disease called infective endocarditis. This is a bacterial infection which causes the sac around the heart to become inflamed.
Reduce Your Health Risks
How can you reduce your risks of serious health ailments that may be due to Periodontal Disease?
Number 1- Have regular exams at our office.
Number 2- Have your teeth cleaned AT LEAST twice a year- sometimes more frequently if you build up plaque quickly.
Number 3- Brush and floss regularly…. AND remember to see us often
Periodontal Disease & Respiratory Infections
Scientists have discovered a link between periodontal (gum) disease and respiratory infections. In fact, if you suffer from periodontal disease, you may be breathing bacteria into your lungs every day from the infection in your gums.
Periodontal Disease & Low Birth Weight Babies
Did you know that mothers with severe periodontal disease are seven times more likely to deliver pre-term, low-birth weight babies? According to a study of 124 pregnant women conducted at the University of North Carolina and published in 1996 in the Journal of Periodontology. Researchers at the University of North Carolina think this is due to the body’s reaction to the bacteria in gums infected with periodontitis. When you have periodontal disease, bacterial toxins attack the bone, ligaments and gums that surround your teeth. You essentially have a large open wound in your mouth that creates a doorway for bacteria to enter your body through your bloodstream.