The most important thing to remember is that gum disease can be treated and often prevented by dentists. We need to more strongly encourage people to visit their dentists frequently and I hope this data will help motivate them.
Encino, CA (PRWEB) August 4, 2009
Focusedcredental.com has found convincing evidence developing on how much gum disease can seriously damage health. Once thought to be just a dental problem, studies now show there is increased risk of serious disease and the worsening of many others conditions when gum disease is present. People with gum disease are at more risks to there health than just damage to there teeth. In fact many more serious risks.
Doctors have long believed that oral infections can have a negative effect on the whole body but never really understood all the possibilities. New studies at a group of English Universities lead by prestigious Leeds University has found a connection to other health problems and has expanded the understanding of the relationships. From these studies, health care practitioners are learning that gum disease is a major risk factor for many serious health problems. Gum disease can put patients at increased risk of such diseases as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory tract disease and even cancer. In pregnancy there is risk of early delivery of a low-birth-weight baby. All of these health problems are of concern and everyone needs to be made aware of these risks by there health care providers.
For example, several studies have shown a connection between gum disease, coronary artery disease and stroke. Researchers at Nottinghan University believe that if you have gum disease, the normal act of brushing or chewing can allow bacteria to enter the blood and are then carried by the bloodstream throughout the body. The oral bacteria appear to attach themselves to fatty acids and build up on arteries, or they can cause blots clots to form. Research data has found that with gum disease there will be twice the chance to have coronary artery disease as a person who is free of gum disease.
For years the dentist at Focusedcaredental.com have seen that there is a connection between diabetes and oral health. Because gum disease is a bacterial infection, it can cause changes in the levels of your blood sugar. The combination of gum disease and diabetes makes these changes difficult to control your blood sugar levels. Focusedcaredental.com has frequently seen that the prevalence and severity of gum disease is far greater because diabetics are more susceptible to infections. Statistics show that diabetics will lose more teeth than non-diabetics over a lifetime. Controlling both the gum disease and the diabetes can help to control both conditions at the same time.
People are also at increased risk of respiratory tract disease if there is gum disease. It is known that a chronic disease can harm the immune system leading to higher risk of respiratory tract problems including chronic lung disease, bronchitis, emphysema, and pneumonia. It is possible to acquire bacterial respiratory tract infections by inhaling droplets which contain potent bacteria that originate in the oral cavity. Once in the lungs, these bacteria can multiply to cause pulmonary infections. Clinical investigations found that bacteria in the mouth can also be drawn into the lower respiratory tract causing infections there or worsening chronic lung conditions.
When pregnant women are very prone to gum disease. According to birth records, if you have gum disease there will be a greater risk of delivering prematurely. How gum disease contributes to this risk to infants is not yet known. Several studies are underway to assess this link.
Gum disease, both in smokers and non-smokers, may be a warning sign for an increased risk of cancer. English researchers found gum disease was linked to a higher chance of lung, kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers. A team at Imperial College London, who studied the statistical health records of 50,000 men, said an immune system weakness could be the cause of the illnesses. The latest data collected for over 21 years in England suggests that even in those who have never smoked, the presence of gum disease means a bigger risk of cancer. Those with a history of gum disease had a 14% higher chance of cancer compared with those with no history of gum disease. There was a 33% increase in the risk of lung cancer, a 50% rise in the chance of kidney cancer and a 51% rise in pancreatic cancer. Blood cell cancers such as leukemia rose by 30% among men with gum disease. It was thought that long lasting gum disease could trigger substantial changes in the immune response which allowed the cancer to grow, or the possibility that the bacteria from the gums could be directly causing the cancer in the tissues of the mouth or throat when swallowed. Further studies are underway on this very new statistical research information. It should be noted that some researchers at Newcastle University felt the finding are not yet conclusive and that more data is needed.
There are a number of theories as to why the presence of gum disease is related to all these illnesses. People with gum infections have been found to have blood proteins that show that the oral infection causes inflammation that in turn causes damage in other parts of the body. Researchers also believe that the presence of gum disease might be a sign of a weakened immune system, which could also allow diseases to more easily develop.
While dentists are trained to spot cancers in the mouth, they are now becoming more aware of the connection of gum disease to overall health. In a recent interview Allan Melnick DDS of Encino, CA, Senior Dentist at Focusedcaredental.com said "The most important thing to remember is that gum disease can be treated and often prevented by dentists. We need to more strongly encourage people to visit their dentists frequently and I hope this data will help motivate them." Dr. Melnick added "Dentists are health care professionals and are being trained to recognize when patients may need medical help because of their gum disease and other oral problems. Patients need to be fully informed of these additional risks. It is the patients right and the dentist's obligation" Dr. Melnick added.