Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) June 02, 2012
If someone is experiencing bleeding gums and does not brush and floss daily, they could have the beginning stages of gum disease, commonly known as gingivitis. Three out of every four Americans have signs of periodontal disease or gingivitis with almost 30 percent showing signs of the more severe disease, chronic periodontitis. These can be painful problems on their own, but they also cause problems in places one might not have considered such as the brain or the heart.
Recent studies have discovered a strong relationship between oral health; the health of your teeth and gums; and other diseases including cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, fetal development, diabetes, orthopedic implant failure, kidney disease, colon cancer, prostate cancer, Alzheimer's, formation of blood clots, respiratory disease - COPD complications, osteoporosis and heart attack. In fact, the existence of periodontal disease is now considered to be more predictive of heart attacks than high cholesterol.
There are three ways oral disease may affect your overall health. First, bacteria and other inflammatory mediators, called cytokines, enter saliva from the gums. From the saliva they adhere to water droplets in the air you breathe and get into your lungs. This can cause pulmonary infection and pneumonia, which is especially troublesome for the elderly or those who may suffer from weakened immunity associated with COPD.
Secondly, bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the body's circulatory system through the inflamed gums and travel to all parts of the body. As the oral bacteria travels, it may cause other infections or contribute to diseases in other tissues and organs.
Finally, inflammation associated with periodontal disease may stimulate the liver to secrete a protein, C-Reactive Protein (CRP) which may contribute to, or complicate, an existing disease like cardiovascular disease. Elevated CRP is more predictive of heart attacks than elevated LDL or "bad" cholesterol.
A new standard between dentistry and medicine is developing. As this "oral systemic connection" is more clearly understood, dentists will play a greater role in the overall health of their patients. Many times, the first signs of unhealthy systemic conditions can be found by changes in the mouth. When at risk, patients are identified, a comprehensive Periodontal Risk Evaluation should be performed and the results sent to the patient's treating physicians.
Physicians will also play a more active role in the "oral systemic connection." They should screen at-risk patients for common signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen gums, pus, shifting teeth, chronic bad breath and family history of periodontal disease. When appropriate, they will refer them to dentists and periodontists who will evaluate and treat the condition. According to Dr. Hood, "This new era of dental/medical cooperation, will without doubt, increase longevity, improve the overall health and quality of life for all our patients.”
Dr. Mike Hood, of The Arizona Center for Laser Periodontal Treatment in Phoenix, is pleased to offer an innovative outpatient treatment for periodontal disease. The Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure™ (LANAP™) is an FDA-cleared procedure to gently treat the diseased tissue without any cutting or stitching of the gums. Dr. Hood is one of only two dentists in Phoenix to be certified in LANAP, and has been elected a Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry.
"I can now treat patients in my office with a gentle, highly-effective, well-established and scientifically-proven procedure,” said Dr. Hood. “Laser Periodontal Treatment reduces post-operative pain, recovery time and helps me provide the best possible care.”
It is in every patient's best interest to keep their mouth healthy. It is critical that patients and physicians understand the Oral Systemic Connection and how periodontal disease can cause or contribute to a magnitude of other diseases and conditions throughout their entire body.
Dr. K. Michael Hood is a dentist offering patients personalized dental care for Phoenix, Arizona for over 27 years. Dr. Hood attended NAU and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology. While still in his first semester of his senior year, Dr. Hood was accepted to the prestigious Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. There he graduated with his degree in dentistry. Dr. Hood is part of one percent of dental professionals providing the most recent FDA cleared laser procedure for gum disease and periodontal treatment. For more information visit his website at http://www.phoenixarizonagumdisease.com or to schedule an appointment to meet Dr. Hood, call (480) 696-5855.