As many people know our bodies work as a complete system, with things working best when everything is in balance and order. Studies have shown that the bacteria found in periodontitis are also involved in many other diseases and problems caused around the body.
In this blog post we take a look at some of those conditions… Is your mouth making you sick?
Heart disease and gum disease.
Gum disease may increase the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.
Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
Diabetes and risk of premature death.
It may sound sensationalist to say this, but it’s true. A study on Periodontal Disease and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes showed that periodontal disease is a strong predictor of mortality from ischaemic heart disease and diabetic nephropathy.
The diabetic person with severe periodontal disease may be particularly susceptible to microvascular and macrovascular complications, these are primarily responsible for the increased morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes.
Gum disease and tooth loss may increase the risk of Alzheimers.
It is clear that periodontal disease is associated with numerous systemic diseases, it is however too soon to tell for sure if Alzheimer’s is on this list. There are however some plausible biological mechanisms linking periodontitis and Alzheimer’s disease.
These include mechanisms such as the spread of negative bacteria from the oral cavity to the brain, injury to the brain tissue from systemic inflammatory mediators produced in response to periodontal pathogens, periodontal disease increasing the risk of cerebrovascular injury to the brain, weight loss and wasting associated with periodontal disease may also contribute to cognitive decline conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Gum disease linked to pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in America, it is extremely difficult to treat and little is known about what causes it. There are established links between pancreatic cancer, cigarette smoking and type II diabetes. A new study by the Harvard School of Public health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that periodontal disease was associated with an increased risk of cancer of the pancreas.
“Our study provides the first strong evidence that periodontal disease may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. This finding is of significance as it may provide some new insights into the mechanism of this highly fatal disease”
How to look after your teeth properly.
Looking after your teeth on a day-to-day basis really is quite simple, if you follow these guidelines you will be sure to keep the gum disease causing bacteria reduced to an absolute minimum.
Brush your teeth for 2 min twice per day.
Cleaning your teeth are 2 min using a good quality toothpaste which includes fluoride is the best way to start. Brush the 2 min, focusing 30 seconds on the top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right quadrants of your jaw.
If you don’t have an electric toothbrush with a timer, brush your teeth using a stopwatch or second-hand of a clock. Make sure you time it for 2 min.
Clean in between your teeth.
The acid excreting bacteria which cause dental disease lurk in between your teeth. The best way to clean them is to use an interdental brush or floss, you can do this any time of day, it doesn’t have to be at the same time as cleaning your teeth.
Use fluoride mouthwash after meals.
Rinse your mouth out with a fluoride mouthwash after meals, this will wash away any food debris and bring the enamel hardening fluoride into contact with your teeth in the middle of the day. Avoid rinsing with mouthwash after brushing your teeth, toothpaste contains more fluoride than mouthwash does, if you rinse with mouthwash the new actually reduce the amount of fluoride in contact with your teeth.
If all else fails, just listen to the Singing Dentist who will explain it all in song…
Dove Dental Care are a Derby dental practice offering a range of dental health treatments and advice to the local people around SW18