Oral Systemic Facts and FAQ

Do you have Periodontal Disease?

  • Do your gums bleed?
  • Do you have a bad taste in your mouth?
  • Are your gums red or swollen?
  • Do any of your teeth feel loose?
  • Do you currently suffer from diabetes, heart disease, rhuematoid arthritis, osteopenia or an unusual amount of stress?
  • Do you brush and floss at least twice a day?
  • Do you have numerous fillings, bridges, crowns in your mouth?
  • Are your gums loose or move away from your teeth?
  • Is there an area where your gums have receded (moved up or down) and make your teeth appear longer?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, chances are you have some form of periodontal disease and need treatment. There is no cure for periodontal disease, it can only be maintained through proper and frequent supportive periodontal cleanings and proper home care. Once you have gum disease you will always have it, especially if one or more of the risk factors mentioned above are present and uncontrolled. Periodontal disease can be prevented provided none of the other risk factors are part of the equation with proper home care and consistent visits to your dentist or periodontist.

Recent studies are showing that tobacco use could be THE most significant risk factor to periodontal or gum disease.
Despite their oral regimen, some patients may be more susceptible to gum disease simply by virtue of their genetics. There are tests available now which your Oral Systemic dentist or periodontist can perform which can help determine if you are at risk for developing periodontal disease in your lifetime, and what you can do to treat it.
Stress is linked to many disease and periodontal disease is also on that list. Stress makes it more difficult for the body to fight infections and therefore increases the risk for developing inflammatory diseases, like periodontal disease.
Some of the oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, heart meds, and certain other drugs, can effect your oral health. Your periodontal & dentist should be informed of the drugs you are taking at all times. Some drugs like Statins will also contribute to deplete the body of certain minerals and vitamins and your Oral Systemic practices can help you evaluate those needs too.
If you suffer from any inflammatory diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, then you are at high risk for developing gum disease. These systemic disease when not controlled can contribute to the development of periodontal disease because they make it harder for your body to fight off infection and inflammation.
Fillings can leak & break, so can crowns and bridges. If you have numerous areas in your mouth that have had a lot of dental work, you could be at risk for periodontal disease. Those areas can be difficult to clean around and can be a harbor for bacteria to form. Without proper home care and dental visits, these bacteria multiply and cause periodontal disease to start.
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Oral-Systemic Health FAQ

General facts on the oral systemic connection. Interested in learning even more? Click here to learn more about membership.

Oral systemic health is the connection between oral health and overall health. Countless studies have demonstrated a link between poor oral health and systemic disease such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and even pregnancy complications.
Use our Member Directory to search for oral systemic healthcare professionals in your area. Look for healthcare providers who take advantage of educational opportunities to be on the cutting edge of oral systemic healthcare and who incorporate these principles into their practice.
Like most services, the cost of treating gum disease is based upon the time required and the difficulty of the procedures involved. Each person has unique and individualized problems which must be accounted for in determining a proper course of treatment. A proper evaluation will determine the extent of the disease and map out the best course for treatment along with its attendant costs. As usual, costs can be dramatically reduced and controlled by thorough and meticulous control of bacteria biofilms which will promote faster healing and better health maintenance.
Health professionals who are members of our academy show a special interest in the general health and well-being of their patients and how the health of the mouth affects their general health. They pay special attention to emerging science and newer technologies and procedures which reduce health risk factors and assure better health for their patients. AAOSH brings together allied health sciences and professionals and provides a wide variety of educational opportunities that help member dentists practice with the best clinical judgment and clinical skills possible. Together this promotes excellent care for their patients and encourages proper inter-disciplinary care when necessary.
It is good to be aware that problems in your mouth may be impacting your general health. If you are concerned that conditions in or around your mouth may be increasing health risk factors, you should consult with a dentist who is trained in oral-systemic healthcare.
No. There are other oral health conditions which have significant impact and consequence to the rest of the body and your general health. We know that gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pregnancy complications, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, etc. Other conditions include oral cancer, oral airway and sleep apnea, TMJ – headaches & migraines, dental decay, and biocompatibility of dental filling materials (in genetically susceptible individuals). These connections between the mouth and the body highlight the importance of good oral health and dental stability in assuring better general health.
In a word, yes! Bad breath, or halitosis, happens when bacteria and dead skin cells and other organic debris, decay and putrefy, producing sulfur compounds which give the characteristic bad breath smell. These bad-breath chemicals can cause breakdown of delicate gum tissues allowing bacteria and their toxins to enter the gum tissue easier as well as the body’s circulatory system. Chronic bad breath should always be viewed as a bad sign and a risk factor for tissue breakdown and disease. Generally, cosmetic attempts to mask it with standard mouth rinses fall short of what’s needed to cure bad breath and rid oneself of the bacteria which causes it.
Periodontal disease and tooth decay are diseases of bacterial origin. Meticulous oral hygiene, using oral care probiotic to repopulate the beneficial bacteria in the oral cavity, and using antibacterial rinses and solutions are steps you can and should take at home. By making good oral health a priority, you can be better assured of a health mouth and of lowered risk factors for developing other general health problems.

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