Gum health and general health

Important association between your gum health and general health.

Over the past few years, there has been more and more emerging evidence linking the health of your gums to your overall health and well being.

Recently the European Federation of Periodontology have launched a widespread campaign to try to raise public awareness of of these health risks and oral health recommendations.  As a result we have decided as a practice to review and update our protocols on the management of Periodontal disease to ensure we can provide you with as much up to date information so that ultimately we can provide you with the best possible care.

Although very common, and usually straight forward to treat, gum disease is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease. However, warning signs of gum disease include the following:
Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
Receding gums
Any bleeding while brushing
Teeth are getting more wobbly
Gaps appearing between your teeth
Persistent bad breath
Pus between your gums and teeth or a Bad taste

Most recent research points to increased systemic levels of inflammation (as found in gum disease) may have a detrimental effect on the body.
The most striking correlations have been made between periodontal health and diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) disease , obesity and low birth weight babies. There are also very strong links between smoking and periodontal disease with smokers being up to 8 times more likely to suffer with severe gum disease.

If you feel that any of the above information is relevant to you or someone you know, we would highly recommend you attend a screening for periodontal disease by a Specialist.

At this practice we have a highly experienced Specialist in Periodontology ( Dr Shekha Bhuva) backed up by a very experienced dental hygienist ( Stefanie Gabor). Both have a gentle humanistic approach and are able to manage and treat all forms of gum problems.  

If you feel you may be at risk of suffering from gum disease please feel free to book an appointment today for a full gum assessment or please talk to us about it at our next check up.

How gum disease can have an interplay with the rest of your health.

People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to infections in general. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Those people who don't have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.
Research has also suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways - periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar.
Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications.
Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.

Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.
Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association. Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions.

Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and strokes. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for a stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.

Multiple independent studies have shown a relationship between chronic gum disease and preterm, low birthweight babies. In fact, pregnant women with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that’s born too early and too small.