Periodontitis and Your Health
Periodontitis can affect the body in a negative way and this will affect every part of the system. There have been many studies on how periodontal disease may affect the body and how it is being linked to the increased risk of diabetes, respiratory disease, pregnancy complication, stroke, cancer and heart disease.
What it is the relationship between periodontitis and health problems?
There have been different theories that try to explain a link found between health issues and gum diseases or other health problems. Periodontitis is a result of the bacteria and if it is not checked, bacteria can reach to deep pockets found between the gums and teeth. The gum can bleed, turn sore or can look red. Too much bacteria can cause the gum disease which can enter in the blood stream and travel to reach the entire body. The harmful bacteria found in a mouth, were found out that they may hurt the lungs, brain and heart and it can also affect women who are pregnant. Such bacteria cannot be found in the mouth if the person is healthy. As the body will be trying to fight off the foreign bacteria, the risks to suffer pregnancy complication, respiratory disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and heart disease will increase.
The body is a complete entity so what can attack a certain body part, it will affect the entire body also. If you have improved oral health, you will also get improved health in general.
To deal with health problems caused by periodontitis, it is important to take good care of the teeth. Regardless of who you are, if you have teeth in the mouth, then you have to floss and to brush on regular basis. In case you fail to do this, then it can damage your teeth, mouth and gums in long term. However, the problem that results from the periodontitis will go beyond the gum disease and cavities.
Periodontitis and heart disease: even if the researchers are still learning how gum disease may cause heart disease, there is a strong association that makes them to believe that it is so. It has been found out that periodontitis increases the risk of heart disease even for people who are healthy otherwise. Scientists theorized the inflammation which is caused by gum disease can be the cause of heart problems in some cases. It has also been found out that people who have preexisting health problem have increased risks of suffering the cardiac problem when they start to suffer gum disease.
Periodontal disease may lead to the stroke
Periodontitis is also believed to increase risks of getting stroke. Even if the relationship is yet to be established, the research is still underway but people who suffer oral infections are at risk of suffering the stroke more compared to the people who have no oral problem.
What it is periodontitis?
This is an infection which affects the gum and bone that supports the teeth. It is a common disease and affects many people. Bacteria called periodontal bacteria are the reason behind this infection. The bacteria are found in the mouth naturally but they become dangerous if the condition is right for them to develop. This is when food debris called plaque starts to build up at the tooth but it is left on the teeth for long without being disturbed. This happens mostly on the areas that are not easy to reach while cleaning your teeth.
The dangerous bacteria will be able to thrive and then to multiply which produce a certain byproduct that will stimulate the defensive mechanism of the body and this leads to the inflammatory response into the gums. If the disease is not treated, it will destroy the bone on the jaw and the teeth may be lost. This is a gradual process which may happen for many years and when the problem is detected and then treated, it may be stopped. Some people, especially young adults, they may be suffering an active form for this disease and it may lead to early loosening of a tooth and its loss.
Why people develop periodontitis
A healthy mouth can have over 700 types of bacteria and most of the time, these bacteria are not harmful. They live in harmony. If a person fails to clean the tooth well, then there is a bacterial deposit on the gums which forms the plaque and this condition makes it easy for more bacteria to grow. As the time passes and the bacteria plaque cannot be removed through brushing alone, the mineral is deposited on it and after sometime, it will be a hard deposit known as tartar. When tartar develops, it will encourage bacteria on the plaque to develop and will reach to the root of the tooth.
Surgical treatment is required for advanced periodontitis.
Flap surgery or pocket reduction surgery: periodontitis leads to tiny incision in the gum which makes the gum tissue to get lifted back and this expose the root for more root planing and scaling. Since periodontitis may lead to bone loss, the underlying bone can be re-contoured so that the gum tissue can get sutured back in its old place. After healing, it will be easier for cleaning such area and to maintain a healthy gum tissue.
Soft tissue graft: After losing gum tissue, gum line can recede and the patient may be required to have the soft tissue reinforced. This is mostly done through removing the small amount of the tissue away of the roof of the mouth or plate. It can also come from another donor source and attaching it at the affected place. This will prevent any further gum recession and it covers the exposed root while it gives the teeth a pleasing appearance.
Bone grafting: this is a procedure which is performed when the periodontitis may have destroyed the bone on the tooth root. The graft is made up with small fragments of the bone and the implant bone can be donated or synthetic. The bone graft can prevent the tooth loss and it holds the tooth in its place. It is also the platform used for the re-growth of a natural bone.
The guided tissue regeneration: this is meant to help the bone re-growth in case it may have been destroyed by the bacteria. The dentist will place a certain piece of the biocompatible fabric between the tooth and the bone. This material will prevent the unwanted tissue against entering in the area which is still healing and the bone can grow back.
Tissue stimulating proteins: this is a technique which requires the application of the special gel in the diseased tooth root. The gel has the protein found in the enamel of the developing tooth and it may stimulate the growth of the healthy tissue and bone.
Symptoms of periodontitis
It is easy to know when someone suffers periodontitis with the following symptoms
- Bleeding gums through flossing or brushing
- Very red gums which are sore and swollen
- Chronic bad breath and bad taste in a mouth
- Shifting and loose teeth
- Pus in the depressed gums