Think unhealthy gums can’t affect your general health? There is more and more evidence that your gum health is related to overall health.
“We have demonstrated a high burden of periodontal disease in the adult U.S. population, especially among adults 65 and older. Maintaining good periodontal health is important to the overall health and well-being of our aging population. Our findings support a need for public health programs to improve the oral health of adults.”
– Paul Eke, CDC epidemiologist
Although the exact mechanisms are not entirely clear, what is beyond dispute is the association between many serious health concerns and periodontitis.
Independent of shared risk factors, periodontitis is often present where diabetes, heart disease, stroke, pregnancy complications and even impotence is also present.
What these diseases have in common is chronic inflammation. Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease.
“We now know that periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent non-communicable chronic diseases in our population, similar to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”
– Robert Genco, past president of the American Association for Dental Research
What can you do?
Make sure that you receive a comprehensive periodontal evaluation every year. If you have periodontal disease, treat your disease, communicate openly with your internist or cardiologist and pay attention to potential risk factors such as your age, smoking and your overall health.
The systemic connection between periodontal disease and overall health is a primary focus of this practice. Dr. Gay believes very strongly that a healthy body includes a healthy mouth.
“It’s great to have a beautiful smile but what is most important to me is the overall health and well being of my patients. Diseased gums may be linked to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Many people don’t realize this systemic gum connection, so we’re sure to start there when it comes to oral health care.”