Rotramel Family Dentistry

"Blessed are they who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute for they shall be called DENTIST"

Services/Restorative Dentistry

Dr. George Rotramel Family Dental

What you need to know about
Gum Disease & Your Health

Did you know that if you have gum disease, you may be at increased risk for other conditions that effect your general health? With proper care, gum disease or periodontal disease can be prevented and treated.

Good oral hygiene and regular professional care are the keys to preventing periodontal disease. Oral Health in American: A Report of the Surgeon General of the United States was recently released. Its most important news is an understanding of the vital relationship between oral health and general health at all stages and ages of our lives.

The facts about Gum Disease and your health

How do healthy gums become diseased?

The gums of a normal healthy tooth reach up snugly onto the enamel of the tooth, protecting the roots and bone structure. Periodontal disease damages the gums and reduces their ability to protect vulnerable areas. It is the single most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque mixes with sugars and starches in the diet to form acids in the mouth, irritating the gums causing them to become red, tender and swollen. It causes gums to bleed easily. Without daily removal, plaque hardens to form calculus (tartar) around the teeth. This process causes the gums to pull away from teeth creating pockets that become filled with plaque. These pockets may become deeper over time, destroying the bone structure that supports the teeth, thus resulting in tooth loss.

Signs of gum disease include:

Making the connection: Gum Disease and your health

We also know from recent studies that an estimated 75 percent of American adults over the age of 35 have some form of periodontal disease. However, when surveyed, eight out of ten people believed they did not have periodontal disease.
Until its advanced stage, periodontal disease is usually painless. Yet up to 90 percent of all systemic diseases including kidney disease, diabetes, and heart disease have links to oral health. Because the mouth is the beginning of the digestive system, it plays a significant role in proper digestion. Improper digestion may cause a variety of digestive and intestinal difficulties. Researchers tell us that if you neglect or have inadequate oral health care, it can contribute to the development of heart disease and increase your risk of stroke.

Gum Disease and your heart

If you have periodontal disease, you may be more at risk for cardiovascular disease. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you have nearly twice the risk of having a fatal heart attack than others.
It has been known for some time that bacteria may affect the heart. New evidence suggests that people with periodontal disease are at risk for bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the heart lining or heart valves. It is caused when certain bacteria from inflamed gums flow through the bloodstream and attach to abnormal or damaged heart tissue. Pre-medication prior to dental treatment may be necessary to prevent bacterial endocarditis. There is also growing evidence that blood clots contribute to clogged arteries and the build-up of fatty deposits inside heart arteries are also linked to periodontal bacteria.

Gum Disease and diabetes

For years we've known that people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease than others. New research suggests that people with diabetes who also have periodontal disease, may have more difficulty controlling their blood sugar. For diabetic patients with severe cases of periodontal disease, blood sugar is increased. If you are diabetic, that places you at increased risk for diabetic complications. Keeping your periodontal disease under control may help control your diabetes too.

Gum Disease and respiratory disease

If you have periodontal disease, you may be at increased risk for respiratory disease. Infections in the mouth, like gum disease, are associated with a high risk of respiratory infection. If you smoke, or are elderly, or have other health problems that suppress the immune system, your risk of respiratory disease is higher. Bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease are some of the respiratory infections that may result from infected gums.

Gum Disease and women

Hormonal changes throughout a woman's life can affect many tissues in the body, including gum tissue. These changes may place women at greater risk for periodontal disease and call for you to take special care of your oral health.

Talk to your dentist

Talk to us if you have concerns about the connection between gum disease and your overall health. If you have heart disease, diabetes, or respiratory disease...or if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, let us know.
Tell us if you have a family member with a diagnosis of periodontal disease. It is possible for the bacteria that cause periodontal disease to be contracted through close contact among families. We'll take special care with your oral health needs and if necessary, refer you to a periodontist who specializes in gum disease.

Clean and healthy

Maintaining clean, healthy teeth and gums is another key to preventing related health problems. It is important to consistently follow a program of oral health. Be sure you:

A Final Word

Talk to your physician about any health conditions that could impact your oral health. Today, more than ever, your physician and your dentist are working together as an integrated health care team.

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