Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dental Care = Healthcare

Here’s a summary of the most recent continuing education course I have taken.  Dr. Tim Donley (DDS, MSD) spoke about periodontal disease and what we dental professional should be telling our patients:

“Inflammation ls at the root cause of many of the chronic diseases that occur with age.  The mouth is a source of these exact same mediators of inflammation when chronic periodontal disease is present.”  When there is inflammation of the gums (i.e. gums that are red and puffy or gums that bleed), there is ulceration of the epithelium (skin) allowing bacteria, bacterial byproducts, and mediators of inflammation to enter the blood stream, and travel throughout the body, influencing the progression of systemic diseases including heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and pregnancies which  result in premature low birth weight babies. All diseases in the mouth are caused by bacteria, but the body’s response to the bacteria does vary.  The patient’s most at risk for chronic inflammatory periodontal disease are tobacco users, diabetics, and patients who suffer from obesity. "Brushing and flossing" is good prevention, but won’t solve the problem if there is subgingival inflammation already present, therefore you need to partner with your dental care professional (dentist and hygienist) for minimal oral inflammation over your lifespan. Good dental care is necessary for good healthcare.

When was the last time a dentist or hygienist checked you for gum disease?

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