Harry Jamison, D.D.S., LLC
Specialist in Periodontics
(520) 625-2311

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Consequences of Periodontal Disease

"People think of gum disease in terms of their teeth, but they don't think about the fact that gum disease is a serious infection that can release bacteria into the bloodstream"
Dr. Robert Genco, editor “Journal of Periodontology”

 

Periodontal disease can also lead to inflammation. This inflammatory bacteria enters your bloodstream and then travels throughout your body. It can affect other parts of your body and has been linked with a number of medical conditions. It is important to treat periodontal disease as quickly as possible to avoid the release of bacteria and inflammation into your bloodstream.

Heart Disease & Heart Attack

Recent studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a heart attack.

Pre-Term Childbirth
Women with periodontal disease are 7-8 times more likely to give birth prematurely to a low birth-weight baby.

Diabetes
Periodontal infection can raise blood sugar in diabetic patients. Periodontal treatment often results in a reduced need for insulin.

 

Periodontal Infection is a Medical Problem

Periodontal disease is no longer thought to be just a dental problem. Researchers are finding many correlations between periodontal infection and serious medical problems.

Your Infection Can Be Transmitted

Research using DNA testing has found that 80% of all periodontal disease comes from a parent or spouse. Patients with periodontal disease can pass their infection along to their loved ones.

Some Patients are At Higher Risk

Patients in certain higher risk categories (see below) should pay particular attention to any signs of periodontal disease.

Those patients having a personal or family history of:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Premature childbirth
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory diseases

Those patients having higher risk lifestyles, including:

  • Chronic stress
  • Smoker
  • Sedentary and overweight
  • Frequent colds, flu, etc.

Higher Risk Patients

If you have been told you have periodontal infection (or some of its symptoms) it is vital that you seek evaluation and treatment.

Dental Consequences of Periodontal Disease

75% of all adult tooth loss is due to periodontal disease. When your gums and bone are damaged by periodontal infection, there is less support for your teeth. As this support disappears, your teeth first become loose and then can be lost. When your dentist recommends periodontal treatment, it is important to get started right away.

Natural Teeth Should Be Replaced

If the periodontal inflammation continues, you can start to lose your teeth one at a time. These lost teeth will have to be replaced with dental work, such as:

  • Bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Partial dentures
  • Full dentures

Dentures

If tooth loss continues, it can cause you to need dentures. Many patients do not understand the full consequences of wearing dentures. There can be many problems with dentures including:

Inability to eat certain foods.

Inability to feel and taste foods.

Lisping or clacking when speaking.

Bad breath or smell.

Pain or discomfort.

Unnatural looking teeth.

Self-consciousness and embarrassment.

Having to take your dentures out at night for soaking.

Your spouse seeing you without teeth at night.

In most cases the progress of periodontal infection can be stopped with prompt treatment. The gums and bone around your teeth can then be saved from further damage.

 


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