What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
The term “periodontal” means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis and gum disease) is a common inflammatory condition that affects the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth, eventually affecting the jawbone itself in the disease’s most advanced stages.
Periodontal disease is most often preceded by gingivitis which is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. A bacterial infection affects the gums when the toxins contained in plaque begin to irritate and inflame the gum tissues. Once this bacterial infection colonizes in the gum pockets between the teeth, it becomes much more difficult to remove and treat. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that eventually leads to the destruction of the connective tissue and jawbone. If left untreated, it can cause shifting teeth, loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world and should always be promptly treated.
Types of Periodontal Disease
When left untreated, gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) can spread to below the gum line. When the gums become irritated by the toxins contained in plaque, a chronic inflammatory response causes the body to break down and destroy its own bone and soft tissue. There may be little or no symptoms as periodontal disease causes the teeth to separate from the infected gum tissue. Deepening pockets between the gums and teeth are generally indicative that soft tissue and bone is being destroyed by periodontal disease.
Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease:
Chronic periodontitis – Inflammation within supporting tissues cause deep pockets and gum recession. It may appear the teeth are lengthening, but in actuality, the gums (gingiva) are receding. This is the most common form of periodontal disease and is characterized by progressive loss of attachment, interspersed with periods of rapid progression.
Aggressive periodontitis – This form of gum disease occurs in an otherwise clinically healthy individual. It is characterized by rapid loss of gum attachment, chronic bone destruction and familial aggregation.
Necrotizing periodontitis – This form of periodontal disease most often occurs in individuals suffering from systemic conditions such as HIV, immunosuppression and malnutrition. Necrosis (tissue death) occurs in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingival tissues.
Periodontitis caused by systemic disease – This form of gum disease often begins at an early age. Medical condition such as respiratory disease, diabetes and heart disease are common cofactors.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
There are many surgical and nonsurgical treatments the periodontist may choose to perform, depending upon the exact condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before any treatment is performed or recommended.
Here are some of the more common treatments for periodontal disease:
Scaling and root planing – In order to preserve the health of the gum tissue, the bacteria and calculus (tartar) which initially caused the infection, must be removed. The gum pockets will be cleaned and treated with antibiotics as necessary to help alleviate the infection. A prescription mouthwash may be incorporated into daily cleaning routines.
Tissue regeneration – When the bone and gum tissues have been destroyed, regrowth can be actively encouraged using grafting procedures. A membrane may be inserted into the affected areas to assist in the regeneration process.
Pocket elimination surgery – Pocket elimination surgery (also known as flap surgery) is a surgical treatment which can be performed to reduce the pocket size between the teeth and gums. Surgery on the jawbone is another option which serves to eliminate indentations in the bone which foster the colonization of bacteria.
Dental implants – When teeth have been lost due to periodontal disease, the aesthetics and functionality of the mouth can be restored by implanting prosthetic teeth into the jawbone. Tissue regeneration procedures may be required prior to the placement of a dental implant in order to strengthen the bone.
Please contact our office if you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease, periodontal treatment, or dental implants.
A periodontal examination is required for your dentist to see the condition inside your mouth and diagnose the illness. Your regular dental checkups should include such examination.
Your dentist will use a particular instrument called the periodontal probe to start his inspection of your gums and teeth. The examination will include the inspection of sulcus and from this the dentist knows where your dental health is standing. If your gum pockets measure anywhere above 3mm, it can be assumed that the disease has started to play its role.
You will also be asked questions about bleeding and swelling in your teeth, and other pieces of information that indicate the presence of periodontal disease.
This term refers to the start and the first stage of the disease. The major role here is played by plaque that affects the gums by making them bleed and inflamed.
If you are not brushing and flossing, the plaque will convert into tartar and you will start entering the next stage of periodontal disease. The recession of gums is a big indication here. The deeper pockets become the shelters of bacteria and other harmful agents. The bleeding becomes common and frequent and bone loss might start as well.
If at the second stage the patient does not go to the dentist, things will worsen. Gums will recede even more and bleeding will also get worse. The teeth will start to become loose and you can feel them moving when you hold them with your fingers and try to shake them.
Scaling and root planing along with dental implants are some ways the periodontists help their patients in ridding from this disease. The teeth, gums and their pockets are first to be examined along with x-rays that give the big picture of the condition in the mouth of a patient. There are various medications that can be prescribed by the dentist as well for curing these problems or preventing them from developing further.
There are cures for almost all situations now but this doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars instead of spending just a few bucks on a toothpaste and toothbrush. Your missing teeth can be returned through dental implants and bone loss could be defied through bone grafting. Today, cosmetic dentistry has taken a big leap and your healthy and esthetically beautiful smile can be returned even if you have lost your front teeth.
Periodontal disease can be cured and treated through several treatments but it all depends on the level where your disease has reached when you go to the dentist. However, if you could only afford to brush two times in a day and top that up with flossing regularly, you won’t have to go through all the treatments and pay for them.
If you have any questions regarding periodontal diseases, how to cure and prevent them, you can contact us any time you want or come to the clinic and see a dentist face to face for further help.
If you don’t pay attention to the plaque on your teeth for just a day, it will right away convert into tartar, which is something extremely dangerous. If you are careful about your daily dental routine, you can easily stay away from periodontal diseases and a lot more.
Periodontal cleanings are always a part of the instructions given by the dentists after a complete treatment of your periodontal disease. After every three months you should go to the clinic for periodontal cleaning. The dentists check the health of your gums, teeth and the pockets in these checkups to make sure that your gums are healing after the treatment. Plaque at times could be difficult to remove and that’s when professional cleaning is required.
On your periodontal cleaning appointment, you might also see the following happening:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): x-rays play an important role in identifying the problems inside and outside of your teeth. Therefore, all diseases from cysts to overcrowded teeth can be detected with these x-rays.
- Examination of existing restorations: To make sure that your treatments are still intact and not harming your gums or teeth.
- Any Tooth Decay will be detected as well.
- Presence of any cancer or tumor will also be checked; not only in your gums but nasal cavity, palate, sinus etc.
- Oral hygiene and products that are necessary for it are recommended and suggested. Mouth rinse, irrigators etc. are some of those devices.
- If any stains or something additional is found, it is also treated or its remedy is suggested.
If you are brushing at least twice a day, flossing your teeth regularly and using other dental products for your dental health, it’s unlikely to have any of such diseases. Your regular dental checkups at the nearest clinics make sure that no other problems arise as well.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal diseases can be chronic and they can easily harm other teeth than just the affected ones. You can easily lose your teeth if you don’t have the problem treated right away. Starting from the gingivitis, the inflammation, bleeding and swelling of the gums can lead to other dangerous conditions. Plaque starts the problem and tartar (calculus) closes it with tooth and bone loss.
The deep pockets that are the first places for bacteria and other harmful agents to grow become the onset of infection. If caught in the early stage the periodontal disease can be easily cured by a dentist with your help. However, leaving the problem unattended for months and years and then taking it to the dentist when things have gone worse could result in bad results. Not to mention, periodontal disease is the cause of many other diseases in other parts of the body as well.
Causes That Commonly Cause Gum Diseases
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that your genes and the environment you live in play an important role in the development of the disease. However, regardless of your environment if your daily dental routine is healthy, you can stay away from the disease for life.
Causes of periodontal diseases are given below:
- Poor dental hygiene – If you are not careful at home about the health of your teeth, no dentist can do anything for you. Even if they have treated your teeth with the best equipment and methods available, they will ask you to brush your teeth regularly and avoid other things that destroy your teeth. If you are not careful about that, you will not be able to recover even after hundreds of treatments. Plaque, bacteria and other agents that cause these problems in your teeth are first produced when you don’t brush the teeth for even a day. With time they grow strong and start damaging your teeth badly.
- Tobacco use – Smoking affects your teeth directly and the first signs are the yellow stains on the teeth of smokers. At the same time, the smoking habit makes it difficult for patients to heal from their problem. Gingivitis is very common in smokers and their gum pockets also start to get bigger very soon.
- Genetic predisposition – Genetic predisposition is a very desperate situation for many people because even though they have a very hygienic and healthy dental routine but they are still prone to developing this disease. A patient with this fear must get genetic tests and then meet the dentist to know what his/her action plan should be.
- Pregnancy and menopause – When a woman is pregnant she must be more careful about her dental hygiene and health because the hormonal changes play an important rule in making the gums and teeth even more delicate and sensitive.
- Constant stressful living and bad diet plans – If you are always stressed, don’t be because this is going to weaken your immune system and any attack of the bacteria on your teeth and gums will be affective. Furthermore, if you are not eating a good diet and there is an access of non-nutritious stuff in your diet, your teeth will suffer. Too much coke, alcohol, smoking and carbonated stuff are very dangerous for your teeth and gums.
- Diabetes – Patients of diabetes know how their immune system is affected by this disease. In fact, people with diabetes are instructed strictly by their doctors not to get injured or prick even a small hole in their bodies because the healing process is slow or absent completely.
- Teeth Grinding – This seems to many people as something harmless but it is not. If you are grinding your teeth while sleeping, you should visit a dentist today because your grinding habit is only making the matters worse. It causes destruction in the tissues of your gums and the enamel of your teeth.
- Medication – Medication is there to keep you away from diseases but they have their side effects as well. Medicines used by heart patients are almost all used on a permanent basis and this has a great effect on their teeth.
Anti depressants also have the same negative effects on your teeth. If you use steroid, you might want to know how this substance helps in supporting the growth of gingival and then results in swelling and other diseases in your gums.
Your daily diet combined with a healthy dental regimen is the guaranty that your teeth will last even in your old age.
Types of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is the disease of the gums and it is a condition that spreads with time and doesn’t really attack the teeth or gums all of a sudden. The main target of this disease is your gums and their tissues. Loose and shaking teeth, tooth loss and other serious conditions may arise if this condition is not paid attention to. Even in the most development countries of the world it remains the biggest cause of tooth loss.
The commencement of periodontal disease is from plaque that starts to takes its toll on the gums when not removed regularly from the teeth’s surface. The bacteria of plaque start to reproduce in the gums at a very rapid rate. The first sign of this disease is irritation that is caused when the plaque has started to dig deeper into the gums. Recession of the gums start and they start losing their place on and around the teeth. The gum pockets start to increase in size and jawbone tissues start deforming and leaving their place and final results are terrible.
Types of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an umbrella term but in reality there are many types of it. Whatever the type may be, a patient must look for a dentist’s help as soon as he realizes that there is some problem with his gums and teeth.
The most common types of this disease that attack a large population of the world are given below.
This is the earliest stage of periodontal disease and a lot of people have it. Once again, plaque begins its harmful effects on the gums and teeth and that’s when it all starts. Pregnant women, diabetic patients and people using steroids must be more careful of this disease since they are more prone to have it. Any patients who are taking pills on a permanent basis must be very careful about it.
Treatment: Since it is just the beginning of what could become worst in future, it is easily curable. Some strict measures at home and professional cleaning from the dentist will easily solve this problem for the patient. Some medications and oral aids are then to be included in the daily routine to keep the periodontal disease away and from starting.
Chronic Periodontal Disease
Another common species of this disease and it is normally found attacking the people who are around 50 years of age. In this condition the patient notices inflammation and this inflammation occurs in and around the gum lines. You might even feel that your teeth are getting bigger, or taller to be precise, but that’s not the case. The reality is that your gums are leaving their place.
Treatment: If you have reached this level of the condition, the bad news is that it is not as easily curable as gingivitis. It will need time and complete recovery is not even possible because the tissues have been lost. Your dentist can definitely slow down and put a hold on its progressive nature. Root planing and scaling will be used to get rid of the effects of the disease. In rare cases the dentist goes for surgery that is meant to return the size of the gum pockets to normal.
Aggressive Periodontal Disease
As the name suggests, this is an intense form of the disease where the attack gets very destructive taking away the bones, tissues and gums with it. This condition is not different from chronic periodontal disease except for the fact that it takes place at a very fast rate. People who have had this disease in their ancestors and parents are highly prone to the disease and same is the case with smokers.
Treatment: Since it is identical to chronic periodontal disease, the treatments suggested for this particular condition are the same but a surgery in this case might be better suggested because the pace of the condition is very fast. Laser procedures in addition to the conventional planing and scaling are put into use to stop the disease from progressing further and further damage to the tissues is meant to be prevented.
Periodontal Disease Relating to Systemic Conditions
A patient can also experience diseases of other parts of the body due to periodontal disease. Depending on a person’s immune system the rate at which the disease starts in another part of the body depends on the strength of the immune system of the person. It is not uncommon to see people suffering from heart diseases and diabetes due to periodontal disease. As soon as you notice plaque on your teeth it’s best that you clean it with toothbrush because if you don’t it will convert into tartar and cause severe destruction.
Treatment: First of all, whatever agents have caused periodontal disease will be figured out and cured by the dentist and for further treatments same regimen will be followed as for second degree of periodontal disease.
Necrotizing Periodontal Disease
This condition is more common among people who already have some serious medical condition e.g. HIV, immunosuppression and other similar diseases. The condition worsens rapidly because the tissues die rapidly in this condition and this death of periodontal ligaments and gingival tissues is because of a certain medical condition mentioned above.
Treatment: This is one of the rarest conditions but since it gets worse because of other factors than just oral hygiene the dentists consider it more suitable to get in touch with a physician before going for a treatment or prescribing any medications. Other conventional methods such as scaling, planing, mouth rinses and pills might be recommended by the doctor as a part of the treatment.
To get more information on the subject of different types of periodontal disease, you can always contact us to get help or visit our clinic for a face to face meeting.
Signs & Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
A big contributor to the tooth loss is periodontal disease, not only in under developed countries but even in the best and the most developed countries of the world. Plaque starts the action and tartar plays its role in destroying the structures in the mouth including gums, tissues, bones and teeth. In early stages it is very much possible for the dentist to rid you of the disease but when it enters its extreme levels, even with the best methods used the effects cannot be recovered completely. Some of the most common signs and indications that should tell you to visit your dentist as soon as possible are given below:
Common Signs & Symptoms
You might be shocked to know that you have periodontal disease after visiting a dentist for checkup because most of the people are unknown of having this disease due to its very subtle start. Only regular checkups at your dentist’s clinic are the best way to have this disease identified in its early stages so you can avoid the big damages it causes to the teeth and gums.
Following are the signs that if you notice you must visit your nearest dentist at your earliest.
Unexplained bleeding – If you notice blood coming from your teeth while brushing or flossing, or when you are having your meal, it is a big sign that you have the disease. Don’t think that it is normal for gums to bleed while brushing or flossing.
Pain, redness or swelling – If you often notice that your gums have swelling on them and they are looking redder than normal, go to your dentist and have a checkup at your earliest. This might be the onset of the disease and if caught at this point you can save yourself from the many harmful effects of the disease.
Longer-looking teeth – A big and clear sign of periodontal disease is the recession of your gums. The recession of gums can be noticed when you feel that your teeth are growing in size but in reality the gums are going back and exposing the larger part of your teeth.
Bad breath/halitosis – If you have suddenly started to smell bad from your mouth and your breath is having a foul smell in it most of the times, the plaque has started to do the harm. The remnant of your foods and meals stick to your tongue and teeth and if they are not removed the bacteria start to deteriorate the conditions inside your mouth causing this foul smell.
Loose feeling in the teeth – as your gums start to lose their place and recede, the teeth become unstable and you can feel them moving when you try to shake them with your fingers. Their positions might also shift because the tissues surrounding them are getting weak and destructed.
Pus – Pus is a clear indication of a patient having periodontal disease. If you haven’t mistakenly hit something pointy on your gums, there isn’t any other reason why your gums should ooze pus.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
There are several types of treatments and methods that are used for defying the periodontal disease but it must be mentioned that only in the early stages of the disease your dentist will be able to cure it the best. As the disease progresses it results in loss of bones and tissues, which are impossible to recover. Surgical and non-surgical methods might be used to cure this disease depending on how bad the case is.
The many methods that can be used by the doctors to halt, slow down and prevent the disease from destroying your gums and tissues are given below:
Laser treatment – Best use of this method is for pocket reduction so the teeth can stay stable and fixed in their positions.
Tissue & bone grafting – When the amount of bone or tissue that has been lost due to the disease is too much to support the teeth, bone grafting becomes inevitable.
Pocket elimination surgery – This is another procedure directed towards reduction of gum pockets’ sizes and the method used for the purpose is called flap surgery.
If you wish to ask any further questions about signs and symptoms, and the treatments of periodontal disease, you are more than welcome to call us or meet us in the clinic.
Mouth – Body Connection
Researches have proven over time that there is a strong relation between periodontal disease and other diseases caused in other parts of the body. In short, the onset of these bodily diseases lies in the mouth from where good or bad enters the body.
Periodontal disease is known for causing damage to the gums and tissues inside the mouth of a person and when the gums are affected the teeth will automatically get damaged. By keeping a hygienic routine at home for dental care any person can stay away from such a terrible disease. However, there are other diseases and conditions in the body that are also caused by periodontal disease. Here are some of the common ones that have association with periodontal disease:
Diabetes and periodontal disease support each other in worsening the medical conditions in a patient’s body. Diabetes makes it difficult for immune system to heal the cysts, wounds and other injuries in a person body because the blood vessels thicken and periodontal disease results in increasing the amounts of substances that cause diabetes in a person. If you have sugar in your mouth due to periodontal disease you are creating a sanctuary for a certain type of bacteria in your mouth.
Heart diseases and attacks have long been associated with periodontal disease because it is believed that bacteria that reside in your mouth somehow find their way into the coronary arteries making them narrower. The blood finds it difficult to flow through such shrunk vessels and thus it results in heart attacks in people.
Another school of thought believes that periodontal disease can also result in the inflammation of arteries just like it swells the gum tissues. As arteries swell they make it difficult for blood to flow and if a person already has heart disease, the condition worsens.
The hormonal changes taking place in a woman at the time of pregnancy make her very susceptible to even the slightest attack of viruses or bacteria. If periodontal disease is present in a pregnant woman the chances of having a premature baby or an underweight offspring are higher.
Pneumonia and COPD have been associated with the bacteria that are present in the mouth of a person and periodontal disease worsens the scenario. Periodontal disease creates harmful bacteria in the mouth and when they enter the respiratory tract, infections are expected. This might result in repeated conditions of COPD.
Just like your mouth, your lungs can also be affected by the harmful bacteria and they can cause inflammation in your lungs as well. This will result in pneumonia and people who are repeatedly facing off these problems are doing so because their immune system is not strong enough. This will eventually result in making the periodontal disease easier to spread in the mouth and gums.
For more information regarding mouth body connection and how periodontal disease can cause other diseases, you can talk to us on the phone or visit our clinic to get better and more personalized help.
Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
Infections in people who have diabetes can be detrimental and that’s why they are instructed strictly to avoid any wounds and injuries. Not a lot of people know but the truth is that periodontal disease is one of the complications of diabetes, especially when you are not paying much attention to your diabetic condition. As periodontal disease worsens in the gums it might form wounds, tumors and cysts as well. The healing process is either null or very slow in the patients of diabetes.
When the glucose in the blood is not being controlled due to missing insulin, a person is said to have diabetes. The increased and unregulated levels of glucose in the blood can lead to many other diseases and deterioration of wounds.
Reasons for the Connection
The connection between diabetes and periodontal disease is strong and at least one needs to be controlled to control the other one.
How the two diseases are linked to each other is given below:
Increased blood sugar – Periodontal disease too can play a role in increasing the levels of sugar in the blood. This is the main reason why people who have periodontal disease find it hard to control their diabetes. The sugar that somehow stays in the mouths of diabetics makes the periodontal disease worse and the infections are frequent and long lasting ones.
Blood vessel thickening – In diabetes a common phenomena is the thickening of vessels that carry the blood to all parts of the body. The gum tissues in the mouth try their best to stop any infections and recessions but when the blood is not delivering the right amount of energy to them in the form of nutrients, they are not able to compete with the periodontal disease. This results in fast infections in the mouth and very rapid deterioration of the tissues.
Smoking – Tobacco is a big contributor in destroying the gums and teeth and this destruction is supported when a person has diabetes. A person who has diabetes and smokes can easily develop periodontal disease and so he must be extra careful about his condition.
Poor oral hygiene – Oral hygiene is of vital importance for diabetic patients and if they don’t brush regularly the excess of sugar molecules in their mouth can be ingested. The uncontrolled levels of sugar in the blood will get worse and make their conditions more even serious.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diabetic patients should never miss their appointments to meet the dentists regularly. They should have their teeth cleaned and checked for having any diseases or conditions predicted in advance. Simple treatments meant to cure the periodontal disease can lower the HbAlc levels by 20% and help a person live a better and quality life.
Whatever tools and methods are required to cure the disease will be used by your dentist and if the condition is serious he will perform surgical treatments as well. It is best that the disease gets caught in its early stages because it can easily be cured in the first stage. Mouth rinses, irrigators, toothbrushes and other aids should be used regularly to keep the teeth clean because whatever enters your body enters from your mouth.
The dentist will pay extra care to your treatment of periodontal disease if you have diabetes since the surgical methods are the last things suggested in this scenario. In extreme cases of periodontal disease surgery becomes unavoidable, and in the early stages the disease can be easily defied without any surgeries; and thus regular checkups are highly recommended.
For further information about the connection between periodontal disease and diabetes you can contact us and let us know of your queries.
Periodontal Disease, Heart Disease and Stroke
It might not seem like a relatable combination but in reality it is. Periodontal disease can contribute in worsening a person’s heart disease or making a person more prone to heart disease by many of its effects. Any oral infection opens doors for letting other harmful agents to enter the body and cause damage to the vessels that are taking and bringing blood to the heart. While periodontal disease seems to be harming only the gums and tissues in the mouth of a person, it is directly affecting other parts of the body because if any other part of the body is affected by another disease, periodontal disease will worsen the case.
When the periodontal disease attacks gums it makes them swollen and infected and this is the same thing this disease can do to the arteries and veins in the body. When the vessels get thicker or inflamed the chances are higher for blood clots to form. The heart diseases start from this phenomenon where the blood is not able to flow to the heart properly and obstructing the provision of oxygen to the heart. This eventually results in a heart attack or stroke and periodontal disease is playing its role somewhere in it.
Reasons for the Connection
If you didn’t know, the periodontists and cardiologists team up to work on a patient who has heart disease because they are connected to each other. If it doesn’t start, it at least worsens the already existing heart conditions in a person.
Following are some of the theories that have suggested that heart diseases are connected with periodontal disease:
Bacteria from the mouth affect heart – A particular type of bacteria from many that reside in the mouth can enter the arteries and stick to them like they stick to the teeth. This easily results in blood clotting in the arteries and finally heart attack.
Inflammation – The white blood cells can suddenly become large in number when periodontal disease attacks the gums tissues in the mouth. It also increases the levels of C-reactive proteins and this increment is a big cause of heart diseases in many patients.
Infectious susceptibility – If a person has a large number of bacteria in the mouth, particularly the harmful ones, the immune system of that person is affected badly. Some vascular effects will arise from this situation and eventually result in causing heart diseases in the patients.
Diagnosis and Treatment
After knowing that periodontal disease can contribute in causing something as serious as a heart attack, you should be responsible enough to go to a dentist today and have your teeth checked. The regular checkups are highly recommended too because x-rays and other procedures are used to keep a record of your oral condition to indicate in advance the possibility of any upcoming disease.
Even if the disease has already started and is causing inflammation and irritation in your teeth and gums, it can be cured if it is in its early stages. The scaling and planing along with some cleanings will make sure that you are away from the disease. Furthermore, you can keep a healthy routine at home to keep your teeth and gums clean. Routine you follow at home is the biggest contributor in causing or preventing dental issues.
You can always contact us if you want to get more information about periodontal disease or other diseases that are caused because of periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is most common in women than men and most often the disease occurs during the postmenopausal periods. Fragility of bone, lowering of the bone mass and scarcity of minerals are the common signs of this particular disease. The disease, according to studies and researches, has a close connection with periodontal disease.
University of New York conducted a study in 1995 that revealed that women in postmenopausal periods are highly prone to periodontal diseases.
Reasons for the Connection
It has not been said with complete proofs and there are still many studies under progress to prove the connection between the two diseases. However, following connections have been suggested after the studies that have been conducted so far:
Estrogen deficiency – estrogen deficiency comes with menopause and it is known for increasing the rate of bone loss in jawbones. As fibers start to get destructed due to estrogen the oral tissues are also destroyed very quickly.
Low mineral bone density – Mineral loss is very common in people with osteoporosis and periodontal diseases takes advantage of this situation as well. People with osteoporosis will see periodontal disease affecting them at a faster rate than those who don’t have this condition.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Just like periodontal disease, it is best that osteoporosis gets caught in its initial stages because then it is easily curable. After identifying the presence of this disease in a person the dentist and the doctor work together to make sure that these conditions are prevented and controlled in future.
Commonly used methods for curing these conditions are given below:
Routine dental X-rays – If periodontal disease is controlled, osteoporosis can be controlled easily as well. X-rays are best tools here to identify the presence of periodontal disease in this case. Whatever damage is caused wherever in the mouth can be caught with the help of x-rays.
Estrogen supplements – Women who have this condition can be supplied with estrogen so the bone and tissue loss could be controlled. Gingival inflammation is also prevented through this treatment.
Assessment of risk factors – X-rays are viewed regularly in a year and family histories are extracted to see whether a patient can be considered an ordinary patient or he’s one of the more prone patients. Dentists will provide whatever information they can to convince a person to come towards a better lifestyle with no tobacco use, no smoking and no eating of foods that damage the teeth and gums.
If you are interested in getting more information about this particular subject, you can take help on the phone or see one of our professional dentists to get the answers for your questions.
Periodontal Disease and Respiratory Disease
Various types of diseases that damage the respiratory mechanism in a person have been associated with periodontal disease including COPD and pneumonia. Bronchitis is another respiratory disease that has associations with periodontal disease. As you continue to inhale bacteria and harmful agents from your mouth, they start making pool in your lungs and respiratory tract. Eventually they affect your respiratory system badly.
Reasons for the Connection
It seems pretty far-fetched to link both diseases but many evidences have proven that they are interlinked and can support each other.
Why they are linked to each other; most common reasons are given below:
Bacterial spread – The bacteria that cause periodontal disease in your oral cavity can easily enter your lungs through inhalation and breathing. As they make their home in your lungs, conditions such as pneumonia and COPD arise.
Low immunity – People who continuously have some respiratory problems have very weak immune systems and a weak immune system invites the many harmful bacteria, plaque and other harmful agents into the mouth. These harmful agents start damaging the tissues in your oral cavity and eventually they result in tooth loss or even worst cases.
Modifiable factors – Everyone knows how smoking affects the respiratory system, especially the lungs. Furthermore, the same smoking habit destroys teeth, gums and gum pockets. As effects continue to increase, more and more harmful agents start to collect in the mouth. Over time they are inhaled by the person and colonization of these harmful agents starts in lungs. The aftermath is affected lungs along with a destructed oral cavity.
Inflammation – If bacteria found in plaque and tartar can result in inflammation of gum tissues and irritation as well, they can easily affect the sensitive structure of lungs. If the linings and tiny tubes carrying air are swollen, the air flow will be hindered and the result will be respiratory diseases.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Even though both conditions can be operated separately but both must be controlled at the same time because controlling only the damages done to lungs will not be enough; the harmful bacteria are coming from the oral cavity and they will again attack the lungs. The dentist and doctor must join their hands and as a team they should get the patient out of this adverse situation.
It is best that the periodontal disease gets controlled first because in most cases it is causing the respiratory problems and not vice versa. Periodontal disease means that harmful bacteria, infections and other infectious activities are happening rapidly in your mouth and they can easily affect the rest of your body when they enter the system.
You must always do your best to maintain a good diet and dental care routine. Brush your teeth regularly, floss them and use other aids to keep your mouth clean and free of these harmful bacteria.