Respiratory Disease & Periodontal Disease
The Mouth and Body Connection
Summary of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease (commonly known as periodontitis, gum disease or jawbone disease) is a chronic condition and without proper professional treatment the result is jawbone loss and tooth loss. It is the most common cause of tooth loss. A bacterial infection occurs from bacteria that colonize above and below the gum line and causes gum pockets. This bacteria enters your bloodstream and travels throughout your bloodstream and travels throughout the body. Intra-orally the infection continues and the gum pocket becomes more inflamed and deeper causing the gum tissue to detach from the root of the tooth and infect the underlying jawbone. At Michael Drone Dentistry & Prosthodontics a periodontal evaluation is performed and Dr. Drone will develop a periodontal therapy program specific for you.
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Dr. Drone is a native of Wheatfield, IN and has been practicing dentistry since 2003 and opened his private practice in Valparaiso, IN in 2007. Dr. Drone earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Indiana University School of Dentistry and earned his advanced specialty degrees in Prosthodontics and Maxillofacial Prosthodontics from Indiana University School of Dentistry and Medicine.
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The Mouth Body Connection and Periodontal Disease
Research has proven that there is a strong connection between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and osteoporosis. Periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation above and below gum-line, the presence of disease-causing bacteria, bleeding of gum tissue when brushing or flossing, gum pockets and bone loss. The bacterial infection in the mouth can spread throughout the body and lead to several problematic health issues. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene, preventing periodontal disease or reducing the progression of periodontal disease through dental treatments will have benefits beyond preventing gum disease and bone loss. It can prevent you from the chance of developing another serious health conditions.
Periodontal Disease and Repiratory Disease
Periodontal disease (known as periodontitis, gum disease or jawbone disease) has been linked to respiratory diseases. Respiratory disease occurs when fine droplets are inhaled from the mouth and throat into the lungs. According to leading experts in the medical and dental professions, periodontal disease can worsen respiratory conditions as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Recent research also shows that bacteria that grow in the mouth and throat can travel and settle into the lower respiratory tract and cause or intensify respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
Connection to Respiratory Disease
- Oral bacterial infiltration: The bacteria that are responsible for causing periodontal disease that invade and live in the gum pockets of a diseased mouth may travel into the lower respiratory tract. Once the bacteria colonize into the lung causing inflammation of the lung lining. This creates respiratory problems because it limits the amount of air that can pass freely thoroughly the lungs contributing to the respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and COPD.
- Low resistance-low immunity: Most people who experience chronic or persistent respiratory problems also have low resistant bacterial and viral infections or toxins. With a low immunity, the oral bacteria can easily grow above and below the gum line without being attacked by the body’s immune system. This can increase the activity of periodontal disease as well as increasing the risk for respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema and COPD.
- Inflammation: Oral bacteria that causes periodontal disease causes inflammation and irritation in the gum tissue and in the lung tissue. The lung lining can become so inflamed that the airway is constricted and limits the amount of air that can travel in and out of the lungs.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you are diagnosed with respiratory disease and periodontal disease it is important for Dr. Drone and your pulmonologist (medical specialist that focuses on the health of the respiratory system) to plan how best treat both conditions and eliminate further complications.
There are many non-surgical and surgical periodontal options for treating periodontal disease. Dr. Drone will determine the extent of your periodontal disease and begin specific procedures to treat the bacterial infection. Scaling and root planning is a common procedure in cleaning the bacterial toxins in the gum pockets and smoothing the root to remove bacteria and decreasing the bacteria from “sticking to the root.” If the non-surgical treatments are not controlling the periodontal disease then Dr. Drone will refer you to a dental specialist known as a periodontist to evaluate to perform periodontal surgery. A combination or oral medicated rinses or antibiotics are placed into the gum pocketing areas to further reduce the risk of a recurring infection and to promote faster healing.