If you’ve ever had to deal with periodontal (gum) disease, then you’re probably aware of the importance of effective periodontal maintenance. Periodontal disease affects around 80% of adults under the age of 60, and though the disease is highly manageable, it remains the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S. If one or more lost teeth were the worst consequence of periodontal disease, it would still be a significant problem. However, adding to the weight of its presence is the overwhelming data that suggests the mechanisms of periodontitis can increase your risk for a number of chronic systemic maladies, as well. Your Allen periodontist, Dr. Marco Cueva, explores the oral-systemic connection, and why effective periodontal care is important for more than just your smile’s sake.

Understanding Periodontal Disease

Have you ever wondered why you should specifically brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and attend a dental checkup and cleaning at least every six months? If you’ve mastered your home dental hygiene care and your smile is consistently clean and healthy, shouldn’t that buy you some leeway to skip a brushing or an appointment now and then? Actually, no, because your teeth and gums are constantly under the threat of accumulating oral bacteria, which form plaque as protection when enough of them gather. Among these germs are a select few that target the connective tissue between your gums and teeth, causing your gums to separate. The germ Porphyromonas gingivalis, a significant contributor to plaque formation, tricks your immune system and incites excessive inflammation, exacerbating the destruction of your smile’s foundation.

Periodontal and Systemic Inflammation

You may be familiar with inflammation for its role in a number of other chronic diseases, including heart disease and dementia. When periodontal disease compromises your oral tissues, P. gingivalis and other oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream, potentially causing the same destruction in other areas of your body. In one study, P. gingivalis infection was shown to increase the risk of atherosclerosis (an arterial disease that leads to heart attack).

Maintain Your Oral-Systemic Health with Help from Your Allen Periodontist

To learn more about the oral-systemic connection, or to receive the periodontal care that your smile and body deserve, schedule an appointment with your Allen periodontist by calling (972) 390-9944 today. Located in the 75013 area, we proudly welcome patients from Allen, Plano, Richardson, McKinney, Frisco, Fairview, Murphy, Wylie, Lewisville, Carrolton, and surrounding communities.