For some reason, your mouth is sometimes isolated from the rest of your body in many instances. Medical and dental insurances are separate, for example, and though periodontal disease (gum disease) affects over 80% of adults in America, people don’t often consider it a serious health issue. Nevertheless, the affliction is the number one cause of adult tooth loss, and when your gums or other oral tissues are diseased, the condition can have serious consequences for your physical wellbeing. Your Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania, explores the mechanisms that allow periodontal disease to become a threat to your systemic health, also known as the oral-systemic connection.
The Devil’s in the Details
You may be aware that an early sign of gum disease is known as gingivitis. When dental plaque, comprised of a myriad of oral bacteria, settles along your gum line, the germs it contains release toxins that irritate your gum tissue, causing your gums to lose their grip on your teeth and pull away (gum recession). The resulting periodontal pockets allow more germs to gather out of your toothbrush’s reach, but of special note is the germ Porphyromonas gingivalis. (more…)