(PRWEB) August 25, 2014
Many patients are still unaware of the connection between periodontal disease (advanced gum disease) and general health, in spite of significant research over recent years. This connection extends to common diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular diseases and diabetes.
For example, a recent post-mortem study found that toxins produced by periodontal bacteria were able to access the brains of Alzheimer’s patients during their life. While this might not be proof these bacteria can contribute towards the condition, studies are ongoing. It’s estimated more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and it is the sixth most common cause of death in the country. With more people likely to develop Alzheimer’s in the future, it’s definitely time to act on this information.
The evidence of a connection between vascular diseases and periodontal disease is compelling and has been shown in numerous studies, and there is an equally strong association between advanced gum disease and diabetes. It’s been found that periodontal disease is able to influence glycemic control through increasing insulin resistance. Diabetes is a systemic disease, and people with this condition are already more at risk of developing periodontal disease due to their decreased ability to fight infections.
Periodontal disease is often easily treated if caught early on. Common symptoms include gums that bleed when brushed or flossed, or persistent bad breath. Dr. Jonathan Penchas, principal of Midtown Dentistry in Houston, Texas, is urging patients’ to take action if they notice any of these signs. Ideally, any early symptoms are picked up during regular six monthly checkups.