Phoenix, AZ Dentist, Dr. K. Michael Hood, Promotes Patients to Gain Control of Gum Disease This New Year

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Based on recent studies, Dr. K. Michael Hood of the Arizona Center for Laser and Cosmetic Dentistry stresses the importance of maintaining oral health to help prevent more serious health issues that are linked to periodontal disease. He starts by making patients aware of the connection between oral health and the rest of their bodies, and with the New Year here, Dr. Hood encourages patients to make this their New Year resolution.

A picture of Dr. K. Michael Hood in his Phoenix, Arizona dental office where he treats patients for gum disease.

Dr. K. Michael Hood suggests gum disease treatment and oral health for this new year's resolution.

It is New Year's, a time many people choose to focus on their health. 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 that might not be considered…like the brain or the heart.

Recent studies have discovered a strong relationship between oral health, the health of 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 one's 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 one breathes and get into the 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 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. Laser Periodontal Treatment reduces post-operative pain, recovery time, and helps me provide the best possible care," said Dr. Hood, of The Arizona Center for Laser Periodontal Treatment in Phoenix.

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.

Call the Arizona Center for Laser Periodontal Treatment at (480) 696-5855 , or visit us online at to learn about treatment of periodontal disease.

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