Health & Gum Disease Park City, UT
What if there was something your dentist could do to prevent:
- Heart disease
- Low birth rate babies
- Lymphoma, colon and prostate cancers
It used to be the worst thing that could happen from having gum disease was you might lose a tooth or two. Recently there has been overwhelming evidence connecting the health of your gums to all of these diseases of the body. I will go into detail the “whats” and the “whys” and even provide links to articles on the subject. But if you do not want to read a lot of detail, know this: Uncontrolled gum disease is a big deal, a life threatening big deal. To make matters worse, it is almost impossible for you to tell how healthy your gums are. A dentist or hygienist needs to examine the teeth and gums carefully to be able to make an accurate diagnosis. It is an easy problem to ignore, even many dentists fail to diagnose or treat the problem. It never hurts and by the time you realize there is a problem, it has progressed far past the point when it should have been treated. The good news is that in most cases it is entirely treatable. If you have any concerns about this at all, call and we can evaluate the health of the gums and bone surrounding your teeth. First, diabetes.
Patients living with diabetes are more prone to infections and other health risks. They must keep their gum tissues healthy to keep the bacteria from playing havoc on the rest of their organs.
Here is the domino effect that is caused by bacteria from the mouth, entering the blood stream:
- Bacteria pass through the damaged gum tissue into the bloodstream.
- There is a chronic inflammatory response on the entire body’s system due to the bacteria directly invading the tissues.
- The blood becomes more insulin resistant so there is an increase in sugar molecules in the bloodstream.
- The glucose or sugar molecule attaches to the red blood cell (glycosylated RBC). These cells act as little razor blades which cut the cell wall as the red blood cell passes through the cell walls of vessels all over the body. This is particularly devastating to the small capillaries of the kidney and eye. This is why diabetics are more likely to experience blindness and kidney failure.
This is why the 40 million pre-diabetics could become diabetic. It is due to the gum disease increasing insulin resistance. In addition, diabetics who also have gum disease have a 200%-400% increase in heart disease and strokes and have an 8 fold premature death rate.
Find out more about a free diabetes screening test that you can take to see if you might have a problem you are not aware of.
Are you ready to make an appointment to get your gums healthy yet?… There is more.
Most people are shocked to learn that half of all heart attack and stroke victims have normal blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol levels used to be the gold standard in predicting the chances of developing heart disease. Today, new findings linking cardiovascular disease and gum disease are changing the testing standards in medicine.
The American Heart Association has identified gum disease or periodontitis as one of the major chronic infections that increase your chances of heart attack and coronary artery disease. The bacteria invade tissues through out the body. These bacteria have been found in the hardened plaques of the arteries.
Here are some frightening numbers to consider. Uncontrolled infections of the gums have been shown to:
- Increase the risk of heart attack 4 fold
- Double the chances of having a stroke
- Increase the chances of respiratory disease
- Can make it impossible for diabetics to control their blood sugar
- Forty million pre-diabetics could become diabetic because of chronic gum disease
- Research has found that people can live 6-10 years longer if they take good care of their teeth and gums.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is the inflammation and break down of the inner lining of the gum pocket next to the tooth, which provides a path through which bacteria pass directly into the body and bloodstream. This can lead to:
- Bleeding gums
- Bone loss around the teeth
- Loose teeth and loss of teeth
- Inflammation of the vessels around the heart which leads to heart disease and heart attacks
- Insulin resistance and high blood sugar and subsequent damage to the capillaries in the eyes and kidneys
The team at Advanced Dentistry of Park City obviously take this very seriously. At each appointment you will be screened for Periodontal disease and gum health. If there are any problems evident we will discus with you your treatment options. In addition, your blood pressure will be taken. You will be screened for oral cancer. You will be screened for signs of Sleep Apnea. And of course, we will want a complete examination of your teeth.
Gum disease is usually painless until the end stages of tooth loss.