Millions of Americans May be at Risk for Serious Health Problems Due to Periodontal (Gum) Disease
A new analysis of recent research has revealed that gum disease may represent a more serious threat to the health of millions of Americans than previously realized. These studies have found that periodontal (gum) infection may contribute to the development of HEART DISEASE, the nation's number one cause of death, increase the risk of PREMATURE, UNDERWEIGHT BIRTHS, and pose a serious threat to people whose health is already compromised due to DIABETES and RESPIRATORY DISEASES.
Periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation and bacterial infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. The bacteria that are associated with periodontal disease can travel into the bloodstream to other parts of the body, and that puts health at risk. The end result could mean additional health risks for people whose health is already affected by other diseases.
Heart Disease & Periodontal Disease
If you have periodontal disease, you may be at risk for cardiovascular disease.
It is old news that bacteria can affect your heart. However, evidence is mounting that suggests people with periodontal disease - a bacterial infection, may be more at risk for heart disease, and have nearly twice the risk of having a heart attack, than patients without periodontal disease.
Bacteria associated with periodontal disease may have an impact on your heart by entering the blood stream through inflamed gums causing small blood clots that contribute to clogged arteries. The inflammation caused by periodontal disease may also contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits inside the heart arteries.
If you have heart disease or are at risk for periodontal disease you should see a periodontist for a periodontal evaluation.
Pregnancy & Periodontal Disease
It is possible that if you have periodontal disease and are pregnant, you may be at risk for having a premature, low birth weight baby.
There are risk factors that contribute to premature births and premature babies with a low birth weight.
Now evidence is mounting to suggest a new risk factor- periodontal disease. Pregnant women who have gum disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small.
If you are planning to become pregnant or are at risk for periodontal disease, be sure to include a periodontal evaluation with periodontist as part of your prenatal care. Healthy gums may lead to a healthier body and healthy baby.
Diabetes & Periodontal Disease
For years we have known that people with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes. Recent research has emerged suggesting that the relationship goes both ways- periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar.
Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when your body functions with high blood sugar. And, as a diabetic, you know that this puts you at increased risk for diabetic complications.
In other words, controlling your periodontal disease may help you control your diabetes.
If you are a diabetic or at risk for periodontal disease, see a periodontist for a periodontal evaluation. Because healthy gums may lead to a healthier body.
Respiratory Disease & Periodontal Disease
It is possible that if you have periodontal disease, you may be at risk for respiratory disease!
People who smoke, are elderly, or have other health problems that suppress the immune system are at increased risk for the development of respiratory diseases like pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema.
Research is beginning to suggest that periodontal disease is a new risk factor. We know that infections in the mouth, like periodontal disease are associated with increased risk of respiratory infection.
This research shows that it is equally important to pay attention to your gums and have regular checkups with your periodontist.
• Dr. Walter J Kucaba, D.D.S., M.S., P.A. • 151 Dillon Dr. • Spartanburg, SC 29307 • (864) 585-0468 •