The Mouth + Body Health Connection
Research Hi-Lites :
Inflammation is the main factor underlying the oral (mouth)-systemic link. Research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several other diseases. For a long time it was thought that bacteria was the factor that linked periodontal disease to other disease in the body; however, more recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys bone and gum that support the teeth.
The American Academy of Periodontology estimates that 75% of Americans are affected by periodontal disease ranging from gingivitis to more severe periodontitis.
Inflammation is the body's immediate and first response to injury. The first phase includes redness, swelling and heat.
Inflammation appears to be a common link between several common diseases.
Inflammation serves to contain the injury to the local site and protect the body from further damage.
C-reactive protein (CRP) levels increase in the blood with inflammation. Elevated CRP is a risk factor for several chronic or long term inflammatory diseases.
Chronic inflammation, such as periodontitis, is damaging and can cause tissue loss. It can negatively affect all organs and tissues in the body.
A significant body of research has linked periodontitis to several other systemic inflammatory disease such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, osteoporosis, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, stroke and more.
The American Heart Association has published Level A Evidence that a link exists between periodontitis and arterial disease.
Periodontitis is the 6th complication of diabetes.
Successful treatment of periodontal disease can directly improve diabetic control.
An interdisciplinary collaboration (between medical and dental) is essential in reducing the systemic inflammatory burden.
What the research concludes? Periodontal (gums) care will improve your oral health status and reduce systemic inflammation, and though the research is not conclusive, periodontal care will likely be good for overall health as well.