Gum disease — the silent killer

March 5, 2012

Dental, Health

Periodontal disease is both a cause and the effect of the inflammatory molecules that course through the body.

by Dr. Nicholas Meyer — 

Gum disease is literally a silent killer. The oral systemic connection has been clearly established, and additional scientific findings are being regularly published in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and the British journal, Lancet.

Many of these original findings were published as early as the 1920s and ’30s by Drs. Martin Fisher (Death in Dentistry), Weston Price (Oral Infections & the Degenerative Disease), and more recently Drs. Mark Breiner (Whole Body Dentistry) and George Meinig (Root Canal Cover-Up).

Much of what was written by these doctors was discounted and dismissed by their peers for a number of reasons; this information lay in the dustbin of history until the last few years. As previously stated, recent scientific studies have now drawn clear relationships between periodontal (gum) disease and general health.

Advanced technologies have been developed that allow us to look deeper and more completely into the nature and inter-relationship of all disease. We are a closed system. This simply means that what we see happening in one place is either the result of something else already occurring somewhere in the body or is cause for something else to occur somewhere else.

So then, how are diseases in the body related to gum disease and other diseases? The answer is found in the underlying role of chronic inflammation within the body. This is a result of a problem that consequently causes another problem.

Periodontal disease is both a cause and the effect of the inflammatory molecules that course through the body. The contribution of periodontal disease to the inflammatory process can be simply evaluated. A simple finger-prick blood test can reveal a person’s level of C-reactive protein (CRP).

After the gum disease is treated, a follow-up test is performed, and the two results are compared. If the level of CRP is reduced to normal levels, we know that gum disease was the sole contributing factor. If the level of CRP is still too high, then a visit to a physician is in order to uncover the cause.

Reasons not to have dirty teeth and unhealthy gums:

  1. Bad breath (halitosis)
  2. Heart attack
  3. Stroke
  4. Diabetes
  5. Pre-term, low birth weight babies
  6. Premature death
  7. Cancer

All of these diseases have at their root cause a chronic inflammation. This inflammation, coupled with an inherent genetic weakness or predisposition, will ignite into a big problem, depending on the target organ or system.

This is a compelling reason to see the doctors of Ameridontics who can measure and monitor not only your gum health, but also partner with your physician for greater overall health.

 

Nicholas Meyer, D.D.S., is a general dentist in Scottsdale, Ariz., with a special interest in the functional aspects of the oral cavity that contribute to such maladies as TMJ, snoring and sleep apnea. 480-948-0560 or www.milldental.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 1, Feb/Mar 2009.

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