Nashville Periodontal TherapyPeriodontal disease, more commonly know as gum disease, is estimated to affect 75% of Americans. This is a staggering statistic, and coupled with the fact that gum disease has been linked to other problems and diseases throughout the body, diagnosing and treating this disease is very important. This is why so many dentists recommend check up at least every 6 months.
Some of the most common symptoms of gum disease include...
- Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
- Red, swollen gums
- Gums that appear to pull away from the teeth
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
Gum disease is a dental condition that usually does not cause pain. Unfortunately, many patients do not think that they have a problem unless something is painful. Since gum disease usually does not cause pain, it can progress to an advanced stage before patients feel pain and seek treatment from a dentist.
Scientists have discovered a link between periodontal disease and other diseases. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease for quite some time. Researchers have discovered that germs that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. This affects the heart by causing the same inflammation that occurs in the gum tissue, to happen in the heart.
Osteoporosis is another disease linked with gum disease. Osteoporosis literally means porous bone, and this disease affects many Americans, especially women. Osteoporosis can affect and bone in the body, and thus the bones of the jaw can be affected. Studies have demonstrated that women affected by osteoporosis are three times more likely to have tooth loss than women not affected by osteoporosis. Researchers believe that the loss of bone density associated with osteoporosis may make teeth more susceptible to the bacteria that are the cause of gum disease.
Gum disease has also been linked with stroke. Estimates show that an American suffers a stoke once out of every 45 seconds. Additionally, it is estimated that 1 out of 4 men, and 1 out of 5 women over the age of 45 are affected by stroke. A study published by the American Stroke Association in 2004 revealed that individuals with severe gum disease had a 4.3 times increased risk of stroke than those with mild gum disease or no gum disease. Fortunately your dentist can easily diagnose gum disease, treat gum disease, and help you prevent gum disease.
Other studies have shown that expecting mothers with gum disease are more likely to give birth pre-term, or have babies with low birth weight. Research performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry showed that women with gum disease were up to 7 times higher incidence of having a low birth weight baby or delivering pre-term. This effect of gum disease is shocking when you compare it to the effects of alcohol and smoking which only increase these risks three fold.
Another disease linked with gum disease is pancreatic cancer. This type of cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths, and it is very difficult to treat. Not much is known about what causes pancreatic cancer, but researchers at Harvard have noticed that gum disease is associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. This research was published in 2007.
As you can see, maintaining a healthy mouth can help you maintain a healthy body. The dentist and dental hygienists at our Nashville dental office are well trained in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. As part of your dental cleaning and checkup, we will examine your gum tissue to determine whether you have any signs of gum disease.
If you still have questions about the importance of keeping your gum tissue healthy, just listen to Whoopi Goldberg's experience...
So don't do what she did. don't neglect your teeth and gums, call our Nashville dental office at 615-298-2385 to schedule an appointment.