What Really is the Oral Systemic Link?

 In Periodontal

Periodontal DiseaseDoctors and dentists from various specialties. are shocked by one of medicine’s newest discoveries, the Oral Systemic Link! You may have heard this term before, but what really is the Oral Systemic Link and how can you prevent it from being a factor in your oral and overall health? At Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental, we know that knowledge is power, especially with preventative dental health! This is why we want you to know about the Oral Systemic Link and how your family can actively prevent diseases such as periodontal disease, cardiac (heart) disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s…

What is the Oral Systemic Link?

Based on the American Dental Association, studies on the Oral Systemic Link show that periodontal (gum) disease may be associated with cardiac disease, diabetes, strokes and even Alzheimer’s. This discovery links the gaps between dentistry and medicine! In recent years the discoveries have continued, showing that there may even be correlations between oral health and dementia, pre-term labor, pancreatic cancer and many other diseases. What causes this correlation? High-risk oral bacteria entering the patient’s bloodstream. More importantly where is this high-risk oral bacteria entering the bloodstream? Most commonly through the gums of patients suffering from periodontal (gum) disease! More than 47% of American adults 30 years and older suffer from periodontal disease, that’s over 64 million Americans! In adults 65 and older that number increases to over 70%. Yet periodontal disease is surprisingly easy to prevent!

What exactly is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease or gingivitis, is the deterioration of the gums and supporting bone structure due to bacteria-induced inflammation. If untreated it can lead to gum recession and even tooth loss! Periodontal disease is actually the single most common disease in America, with 3 out of 4 people suffering from some variation of the disease. The truth is, periodontal disease is actually easy to preventable and treatable. Only about 3% of americans actively seek treatment for their periodontal disease. Many patients don’t seek the treatment they need because they aren’t informed of the long-term effect this disease has on their overall health. This is where the power of knowledge comes into play!

How can you prevent periodontal disease?

The Oral Systemic Link is traced back to high-risk oral bacteria, most commonly entering the bloodstream through the gums of patients suffering from periodontal disease. This means preventing periodontal disease will ultimately lower your chances of these high-risk oral bacteria entering your bloodstream and causing havoc to your overall health! So what is the magic to preventing periodontal disease? The American Academy of Periodontologysuggests preventing periodontal disease involves exactly what your dentists have been recommending for great oral health! The first step is consistently brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time, including your tongue! This will remove the food debris and plaque that promote the high-risk oral bacteria growth. The next preventative defense is flossing each day; this cleans the 35% of the tooth area that your toothbrush can’t reach. Mouthwash is another great preventative step to take advantage of! It removes any leftover debris while adding extra protection with fluoride! With prevention this easy we truly believe that as more patients learn about the Oral Systemic Link less people will be diagnosed with all the disease associated with periodontal disease!

Your oral health is vital to your overall health, as the Oral Systemic Link shows! Stay on top of your oral health to prevent diseases such as cardiac disease, strokes, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s. For more information on the Oral Systemic Link and how your family can prevent it, feel free to contact us!

Also, you can check out this article written by Dr. Klenke that was featured in the August/September 2015 issue of TxMD Magazine.

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