Periodontal Care For the health of Your Smile and Body
At Perio Implant Chicago, we specialize in restoring and maintaining the health of the hard and soft tissues that surround the teeth. Our periodontists, Drs Peter O. Cabrera and Bahareh Sabzehei, partner with patients throughout Chicagoland to keep their gums, teeth and smile healthy. Excellent oral health also supports overall health and wellbeing.
The Mouth-Body Connection
A large body of medical research supports the notion that oral diseases, such as periodontal (gum) disease, are linked to many other chronic and systemic conditions. In fact, gum disease is a known risk factor for heart problems, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. Additionally, researchers have demonstrated associations between periodontal disease and diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory infections, and pregnancy complications (preterm births, low birth weight babies).
Gum disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding, supporting, and protecting the teeth. Harmful oral bacteria and food particles promote the development of plaque, which inflames the gums and erodes the supporting bone. Consistent brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings remove lingering food and prevent destructive bacteria and plaque build-up. Patients with excellent oral hygiene further reduce the risks of developing other serious diseases by preventing inflammation and infection from developing below the gum line.
More on Common Cofactors
“Cofactors” refer to conditions or pathogens that contribute to disease development. Gum disease is commonly associated with the following cofactors:
- Diabetes – Researchers have implicated the presence of periodontal disease in the development of diabetes. Gum disease can increase blood sugar (glucose) levels, which can interfere with diabetes management. Likewise, people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing gum disease. Excess sugar in the oral cavity promotes the growth of the harmful bacteria responsible for periodontal disease.
- Heart Disease – Research indicates that some strains of oral bacteria associated with gum disease enter the bloodstream where they attach to coronary arteries and contribute to blood clots, arterial narrowing or blockages, and heart attacks. Additionally, the inflammation associated with gum disease may contribute to a significant build-up of fatty plaque inside the arteries, a hallmark of coronary artery disease.
- Pregnancy Risks – It is critical for pregnant women to maintain periodontal health because hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy increase the risk of developing gum disease (a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis”). Gum disease presents threats not only to the mother’s health but also to the health of her unborn child. Advanced gum disease (“periodontitis”) elevates the levels of labor-inducing prostaglandin. This chemical may trigger preterm labor, which increases complications such as underweight babies. Furthermore, heightened levels of C-reactive proteins may amplify the body’s inflammatory response, which increases the risk of pregnancy-related high blood pressure disorders (such as preeclampsia).
- Respiratory Distress – Oral bacteria linked to periodontal disease have also been linked to a range of respiratory diseases. The presence of gum disease may also worsen the symptoms and severity of emphysema, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory disorders. Oral bacteria can be pulled into the lower respiratory tract during normal breathing, triggering bacterial infections. Periodontal inflammation can also severely inflame the lining of the lungs, which exacerbates pneumonia.
Do not wait for bleeding or puffy gums and other signs of trouble to arise. Protect the health of your gums and the health of your body. Call Perio Implant Chicago at (312) 736-7959 to schedule an appointment or fill out our convenient appointment request form online.