184 W. Main Street, Suite 200 Collegeville, PA 19426 610-228-4366
425 Market Street, 2nd Floor Williamsport, PA 17701 570-505-6908

Connecting Your Oral And Overall Health [BLOG]

  • June 23, 2017

At the LANAP & Implant Center, our top priority is a patient’s total wellness. That’s why we take an integrated approach to dental care. Dr. DiGiallorenzo and our team of specialists are visited by patients from all over the country because of our expertise and advanced technology that allow us to treat periodontal disease quickly, effectively, and painlessly.

One of the greatest threats to your oral and overall health is periodontal disease, or gum disease. The reason it’s so dangerous isn’t just because of what it can do to your teeth and gums. It’s because gum disease is so insidious. To the untrained eye, it can be very difficult to detect.

You might show symptoms of gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, such as red, swollen, or tender gums, for example. Or, you might not show any symptoms at all. Over time, the infection can advance without you being aware of it, and by that point, you could have already suffered from tooth loss, or worse.

What could be worse than tooth loss? Well, that’s why periodontal disease is so dangerous. The fact is, it can spread into your bloodstream and cause all sorts of problems to your overall health. Research has already shown a connection between oral infection and dangerous health conditions such as diabetes, and stroke.

That’s why we wanted to devote today’s blog to gum disease and talk about three more connections scientists are making between it and your health.

The Link To Premature And Low Birth Weight

While the causal relationship isn’t yet known, studies are now indicating a link between gum disease and low birth weight and premature birth, or PLBW.

It seems to be traced to bacterial infections like you find with gum disease. What can happen is a triggering of early labor, as well as creating fetal toxicity because of the endotoxins released by bacterial infections.

According to one study, as much as 18% of premature births can be linked to gum disease, which is startling. The good news, however, is that these connections have started a conversation about the need for more collaboration and communication between dentists and doctors when it comes to how to best approach prenatal care.

The Link To Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a condition where various joints of the body become inflamed. It puts an enormous amount of limitations on a person because someone with RA will lose dexterity little by little.

This debilitating condition has been linked to gum disease in recent American studies. Just like with PLBW statistics, the causal relationship has yet to be determined, but what research tells us is that someone with RA is more likely to also have gum disease. Reversely, someone with gum disease is more likely to suffer from RA.

A possible explanation for this is that this type of arthritis causes you to lose the ability to use your hands freely and easily, making it far more difficult to maintain good oral hygiene at home, especially when it comes to flossing. Obviously, proper flossing requires adequate dexterity of the fingers, so this explanation is quite plausible.

The Link To Depression And Anxiety

According to research, if you have depression or anxiety, you’re more at risk for periodontal disease. There could be various explanations for this connection. For example, if you struggle with anxiety, you might be less likely to schedule routine dental checkups, which is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease.

Another reason for this link could be that if you’re taking prescription medication to manage your depression, it could mean that your oral health is negatively impacted by possible side effects from those medications, like dry mouth or vomiting.

An Integrated Approach At The LANAP & Implant Center

Now that you know more about the number of ways your overall well-being can be affected by poor periodontal health, we hope you’ll take the time to pay us a visit at the LANAP & Implant Center. You will be in the hands of some of the country’s most qualified and experienced dental professionals who will go above and beyond to help you achieve optimum oral health and total wellness.

Call us at 610-228-4366 for our Collegeville, PA office or 570-505-6908 for our Williamsport location. You can also fill out our convenient online form.