You can call us Dental Detectives if you want because dentist near Chicago, Dr. Thomas Jackson and our dental team are trained to spot more than just cavities and get to the bottom of it. Specific peculiarities sometimes show up in gum tissue and teeth that signal to us a serious health condition may exist elsewhere in your body. To be forewarned, is to be forearmed, wouldn’t you say?
A recent study showed people with serious gum disease were 40% more likely to also have a chronic health condition.
It’s actually been reported that up to 91% of patients with heart disease also have periodontitis (gum disease).
Some other health issues include:
- Gum Disease and Your Heart: If we discover you have gum disease and your family’s history includes heart disease or stroke, we suggest your medical doctor be updated about our findings. Why? Scientists are discovering that bacteria from infected gums can travel and block the arteries.
- Diabetes: Infections at your gum line can worsen diabetes by weakening the body’s ability to control blood sugar. We can help you stay on top of gum disease by offering more frequent cleanings. Some were unaware they had diabetes until their dentist pointed out that bleeding gums, loose teeth, and slow post-procedure healing times were indicators of the disease.
- Dementia: Maintaining sound oral health at home is essential. For the elderly in particular, regular professional exams and cleanings are crucial. Scientists at the University of California followed more than 5,000 elderly people over 18 years and discovered that those who brushed their teeth less than once a day were up to 65% more likely to develop dementia. (link to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22860988)
- Bruxism (teeth grinding): Signs of premature wear and fractures to your teeth alert our dental team you may need a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and jaws from damage while you sleep.
- Osteoporosis: Changes in the bone supporting your teeth (showing up as a receding gum line and loose teeth sometimes) may have us suggesting you be tested for osteoporosis.
- Nighttime Reflux: Reflux of stomach juices can unknowingly occur while you sleep. If we see erosion in your upper back molars we can alert you of the possibility. It could save not only your teeth but possibly help prevent esophagus erosion or cancer!
- Premature & Low-Weight Births: Gum disease can trigger an increase in a chemical compound called prostaglandin and other harmful inflammatory molecules that induce early labor and impair fetal growth. Let us help you reduce that harmful bacteria sooner rather than later!
Get the Jump on Disease! As your go-to dentist, we’re concerned about more than just your teeth and gums. We’re proud to give our patients a reason to smile about both their oral and overall health. Contact us today to learn more.
Which of these health problems you were most surprised to discover were linked to the health of your mouth?