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The Oral-Systemic Connection

June 2, 2014


Currently research is providing alarming evidence that bleeding gums and bacteria in the mouth, normally addressed by your dentist or dental hygienist, can actually be life threatening. Approximately 80 percent of the American population has a chronic gum infection in their mouth called gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums, or periodontitis, the breakdown of bone due to infection and lack of oral care. This bacteria is associated with bleeding gums, bad breath, swelling of the gums, and changes in the positions of teeth. These bacteria can ultimately be linked with other systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and many others.

You may be thinking, how is this possible? The normal response when the body is injured is inflammation, as it will quickly initiate the reparative process for healing. Unfortunately when inflammation is long lasting it can damage areas where it is occurring. After brushing or flossing, a healthy mouth will not show any sign of blood. Have you seen blood on your tooth brush or in the sink after brushing or flossing? This is not a healthy environment for the gums and is a sign that bacteria is collected around the teeth and under the gums. Brushing and flossing is an important part of daily care but can’t all be done at home. It is important to see your dentist and dental hygienist at least twice per year as there are special instruments to get into areas a toothbrush would never be able to reach. If left untouched, the bacteria travels which leads to the breakdown of bone, leading to tooth movement and the possibility of losing those teeth. Once the bacteria has begun the breakdown of bone, it is able to travel quickly and move throughout the body. With this information, it is important that physicians and dentists work together, educating their patients regarding the risk of infections and how to prevent them.

Call our office today to find out more and schedule an appointment with Dr. Bryan Judd today!

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