This months Special Guest Blog is written by our favorite dentist, Candace Krause, DMD, from Gladstone Family Dentistry.

toothy grinI recently attended a seminar at OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences University) entitled “The Impact of Periodontal Disease on General Health”

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) about half of the adults in the US have periodontitis, the advanced form of periodontal (gum) disease, where usually irreversible changes to the bony and connective tissue support of the teeth have taken place. Left unchecked, tooth loss is inevitable.

What the dental community has long suspected, this inflammation going on in our mouths from the gum disease is also affecting the rest of the body and vice verse.

The systemic effects of periodontal disease most researched show:

1. Worsened glycemic (blood sugar) control and an increase in complications associated with diabetes.
2. Increase risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. Increase risk of respiratory diseases like bronchitis and pneumonia
4. Increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes like premature and/or low birth weight deliveries.
5. Increase in oral and pancreatic cancers.

Also discussed were the risk factors for the development of the periodontal disease beyond poor oral hygiene. These include smoking, refined sugar consumption, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The take-away message is that a healthy lifestyle needs to include taking care of our oral health as well as all the things we do for the rest of our body.

Your dental checkup should include a thorough periodontal examination of your gums as well as the xrays and exam of your teeth.
Candace Krause, DMD
Gladstone Family Dentistry