We all know that regular visits to the dentist for a check-up and cleaning can keep your teeth and gums healthy. But taking proper care of your gums can do more than prevent tooth loss. It may also save your life. Yes, your life.
Dentists have long suspected a link between periodontal disease and serious health issues. They have recently been proven correct.
Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Periodontology report that the inflammatory effects from periodontal disease can cause bacterial byproducts to enter the bloodstream and trigger the liver to make proteins such as C-reactive protein.
This protein is one of the main markers in all kinds of systemic inflammation that can increase the risk of blood clots and, according to a new study from Harvard, pancreatic cancer. The Harvard study shows that men with gum disease were 63 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer when compared to those with no periodontal problems.
Studies have shown that periodontal disease can also lead to an increased risk for:
- Heart Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Certain Cancers
- Complications in controlling blood sugar levels in diabetes
- Premature Birth
- Low Birth-Weight Babies
- and more
Unfortunately, you can have periodontal disease and not even know it. Symptoms include swollen gums, gums that bleed when you brush or floss, loose teeth, receding gum line and halitosis, but sometimes there aren’t any symptoms at all.
The disease is prevalent; more than 85 percent of people in the United States have some level of periodontal disease.
But there is good news. Periodontal disease is treatable, and in many cases, when caught early, it’s reversible. With modern technology and advanced periodontal therapy, including dental lasers, ultrasonic scalers and antibiotics, treatment is more gentle, comfortable and effective than ever before.
It’s easy to keep periodontal disease at bay; simply visit the Memphis dental office of Walnut Grove Dental Group for your regular check-ups and cleanings. Brush and floss daily at home and use an oral irrigator.
Don’t risk your smile. Or your health. Come see us soon!