Did you know that oral inflammation (periodontal disease) is an epidemic? Under the age of 65, 50% of the adult population has periodontal disease. The prevalence goes up to about 75% over the age of 65! That’s a lot of oral “bugs” in our adult population and we now know the research is overwhelmingly suggestive that oral bacteria can contribute to a host of systemic health problems and diseases. Chronic oral inflammation is now known to be closely associated with an increased risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and a higher risk of pre-term delivery and low-weight babies. And these listed conditions are just a few of the connections we are learning about!
One family of oral bacteria, called spirochetes, are especially associated with systemic diseases. It is well known that there is not a single person who has heart disease, diabetes or Alzheimer’s who did not have the oral bacteria, spirochetes! Looking closer, these are very aggressive creatures which multiply by the trillions in the space or crevice between the tooth and gum. Spirochetes can go through the skin of the gums and once inside the body they can travel into the blood stream to any part of the body where they can easily invade the blood vessels and damage them. Realize this: gums are a specialized tissue designed to “seal” the skeleton where it comes out through the skin. The teeth are the only part of the skeleton which is outside the body.
Alarming isn’t it? We are not here to scare but to raise the level of awareness and help. How?
- We have a phase contrast microscope that is particularly adept at observing the bacterial load a person may have. We can actually recognize and show you oral spirochetes if present!
- Being that we are a specialist in oral health, we can appropriately diagnose and treat for oral bacterial infections.
- Periodontists if you will, are the “internists” of dentistry.
- After gum disease treatment, an area of our practice is dedicated to long-term maintenance and personalizing your care at home to produce a more stable and healthy foundation.
So….as the title suggests, your mouth may indeed be bugging you! You can learn more about our office at www.mygumdoc.com. Know that improving your oral health doesn’t just save teeth–it may very well lower your risk for a myriad of systemic diseases and increase your overall health and quality of life. Call us today!