A number of recent studies have proven a direct correlation between oral health and overall health. Gum disease (or periodontal disease) is a prime example. The mouth has been called the portal to the body, and rightfully so. Bacteria from gum disease get into the bloodstream and increase a person’s risk for heart disease, lung disease, stroke, diabetes complications, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. During pregnancy, a woman with gum disease may experience early labor, and, thus, give birth prematurely.
About 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease, and many don’t know it. In the early stage, the condition may present no symptoms. Mild gum sensitivity, redness, swelling, and bleeding while brushing teeth can be cause for concern. Left untreated, early gum disease can progress quickly. In addition to increasing the risk for overall health problems, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. And, statistically, people without teeth do not live as long as those with a healthy, functioning set of teeth.
The best way to prevent gum disease is by brushing and flossing daily, then attending six-month checkups and cleanings. If you are diagnosed with the condition, seek treatment immediately. At our office, registered hygienists can provide deep cleanings with scaling, root planning, and antibiotic treatment. If the condition progresses past the point when deep cleaning is effective treatment, Dr. Kondrat can provide specialty care, as he is a board-certified Periodontist.