Phoenix, AZ -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/01/2012 --It’s a New Year, a time many people choose to focus on their health. Did you know your mouth plays an important role in the overall health of your body? Not just by what you put into it, but also how well you take care of it. 3 out of every 4 Americans have signs of periodontal disease or gingivitis with almost 30% showing signs of the more severe disease, chronic periodontitis. These can be painful problems on their own, but they also cause problems in places you might not have considered…like your brain, or your heart.
Recent studies have discovered a strong relationship between oral health, the health of your teeth and gums, and other diseases including cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, fetal development, diabetes, orthopedic implant failure, kidney disease, colon cancer, prostate cancer, Alzheimer's, formation of blood clots, respiratory disease - COPD complications, osteoporosis, and heart attack. In fact, the existence of periodontal disease is now considered to be more predictive of heart attacks than high cholesterol!
There are three ways oral disease may affect your overall health. First, bacteria and other inflammatory mediators, called cytokines, enter saliva from the gums. From the saliva they adhere to water droplets in the air you breathe and get into your lungs. This can cause pulmonary infection and pneumonia which is especially troublesome for the elderly or those who may suffer from weakened immunity associated with COPD.
Secondly, bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the body's circulatory system through the inflamed gums and travel to all parts of the body. As the oral bacteria travels, it may cause other infections or contribute to diseases in other tissues and organs.
Finally, inflammation associated with periodontal disease may stimulate the liver to secrete a protein, C-Reactive Protein, (CRP) which may contribute to, or complicate, an existing disease like cardiovascular disease. Elevated CRP is more predictive of heart attacks than elevated LDL or "bad" cholesterol.
A new standard between dentistry and medicine is developing. As this "oral systemic connection" is more clearly understood. Dentists will play a greater role in the overall health of their patients. Many times, the first signs of unhealthy systemic conditions can be found by changes in the mouth. Physicians will also play a more active role in the "oral systemic connection." They should screen at-risk patients for common signs of periodontal disease, including bleeding gums, swollen gums, pus, shifting teeth, chronic bad breath, and family history of periodontal disease. When appropriate, they will refer them to dentists and periodontists who will evaluate and treat the condition. According to Dr. Hood, "This new era of dental/medical cooperation, will without doubt, increase longevity, improve the overall health and quality of life for all our patients".
Kamini, a 42 year old counselor in personal development, noticed that even though she was young, she was getting “long in the tooth” her gums were receding. She was told that she had gum disease, but did not want to have traditional “cut and suture” surgery. While doing an internet search, she found that Dr Mike Hood uses the Perioliase, a FDA cleared dental laser for the treatment of gum disease. Using the LANAP protocol, Dr Hood is able to get rid of gum disease. It’s like Lasik for the eyes.
Dr Hood administers a local anesthetic to eliminate any discomfort. A general anesthetic is not need because LANAP is much less painful and traumatic than traditional gum surgery. A tiny laser fiber (about the thickness of several human hairs) is inserted between the diseased gum and tooth, and the infection is cleared away. The procedure is fast, taking only 2, 2hour appointments. (Traditional periodontal surgery can take up to eight appoints, with follow up visits for suture removal and checkups) Like most of Dr Hood’s patients, who have the Laser treatment, Kamini did not need any pain-killers. And she’s not “Long in the tooth!”
She is so happy with her pain-free surgery that she says, “It’s astounding how technology comes around that makes such a difference in changing a persons appearance and health.”