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Marco Island Dentist explains the oral systemic connection

Your oral health plays a significant role in your overall health. It is estimated that 75% of American adults have at least some signs of gum disease. Up to 30% of the cases can even be in more severe stages. Emerging science has indicated that oral disease can affect the overall health of your body. Recent studies have found a substantial association between periodontal disease and other systemic medical conditions. It has been shown that gum disease can affect your overall health in several different ways.

The harmful bacteria from the oral disease can mix with the saliva and cling to the moisture that is in the air you breathe. The bacteria laden drops can be aspirated into the lungs, where it has the potential to cause pneumonia and other pulmonary infections. This is especially troublesome for people who have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), those with weakened immune systems, and even the elderly. Cytokines (inflammatory mediators found in diseased gums) can also be aspirated into the lungs. Cytokines can have inflammatory effects of the airway further complicating pulmonary conditions.

Additionally, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream directly through the gums. Once in the circulatory system, it can easily travel to all major organs and throughout the body. As the bacteria spreads, it can trigger secondary infections as well as exacerbating existing disease processes. Finally, the periodontal disease inflammation can trigger a second, system wide inflammatory response. This has the potential to complicate or contribute to diseases of inflammatory origin, such as diabetes, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, orthopedic implant failure, Alzheimer's, preterm and low birth weight babies, as well as various cancers.

Great oral health should be named along with nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep, stress management, and tobacco avoidance as essential to optimal physical health. Research is ongoing to gain a deeper understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying the oral systemic connection. Meanwhile, it is in people's best interest to be an advocate for their own oral health. Practice excellent oral hygiene, support your body with good nutrition, exercise, get adequate sleep, and maintain regular dental visits to look better, feel better, and avoid periodontal disease.

To enjoy the benefits of a comprehensive dental care and great oral health call (239) 593-2111 or (239) 394-4906 and schedule an appointment at Florida Choice Dentistry today. With a dental specialist, general dentist and registered dental hygienist on staff, all of your dental concerns can be addressed in one convenient location.

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