Periodontal Disease and Medical Research
Your dental health is a large indicator of your overall health. Dr. Davis is concerned about his patients as a whole and believes that it is important to educate his patients on their oral health. Many do not realize the complications that can occur as a result of periodontal disease and how it relates to other diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
How does my oral health exacerbate heart disease?
Our mouths are constantly exposed to bacteria. It is the easiest way for bacteria to enter and grow in our bodies. Along with that, there are several types of cardiovascular disease, which leads to heart attacks and strokes. One type of cardiovascular disease is infection of the endocarditis, which is the inflammation of the interior lining of the heart and heart valves due to a bacterial infection. While damaged and abnormal heart valves are at greatest risk, the condition can also occur in normal valves when a large amount of bacteria is present.
A second type of heart disease is known as coronary artery disease. This is characterized by the gradual thickening of the coronary artery walls as a result of fatty proteins. Often blood clots form in these narrowed arteries, which will obstruct normal blood flow and deprive the heart of its much needed nutrients and oxygen.
Patients with periodontal disease can cause open wounds in their gum tissue during normal tasks, such as chewing and brushing. This is noted by bleeding. Open wounds cause bacteria to enter your bloodstream. We know through study that the accumulation of these bacteria on heart valves can lead to a fatal endocarditic infection. It also appears that the bacteria can attach to fatty plaques and possibly contribute to clot formation, which can be life threatening to our patients with coronary artery disease.
Research has told us that individuals with periodontal disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. We also now know that that patients who experience a stroke or heart attack are more likely to have periodontal disease. Leslie I. Davis, BDS, DDS, PC can help you maintain your periodontal health to considerably decrease the amount of bacteria entering your bloodstream through inflamed gums.
How does my oral health indicate diabetes?
Dentists have been aware of the link between periodontal disease and diabetes for quite a while. Research has shown periodontal disease to be more prevalent in diabetics, and that diabetics experience higher tooth loss. We believe that this is due to diabetics being more susceptible to infections. Dr. Davis has also seen research that indicates periodontal disease negatively impacting diabetic control, making it difficult for patients to regulate blood sugar/insulin levels. We feel that this makes it all the more important for our patients with diabetes to receive treatment for any periodontal problems.
Following treatment which may involve a deep cleaning or a prescribed oral rinse, many diabetics are even able to decrease their need for insulin due to resolution of the periodontal infection. Long term studies show that controlled periodontal disease is an important factor in stabilizing the progression of diabetes.
We value our patients' health. Contact Leslie I. Davis, BDS, DDS, PC at our Sun City West, AZ office today for more information at (623) 584-0664.
Leslie I. Davis, BDS, DDS, PC
13802 W Camino del Sol Suite 103
Sun City West, AZ 85375-4486
Phone: (623) 584-0664
Fax: (623) 584-1728