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Sunday March 29th, 2015

Posted at 3:00pm

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Guest Article By Dr. Peter Siedlakowski

Body health and gum health, you would not think that these two things are synonymous with each other but recent scientific evidence suggests that they are.

Classical gum disease is the bacterial induced inflammation of the supporting structures surrounding teeth called gingivitis. If the gum disease progresses and begins to involve the loss of bone structure around tooth then it is called periodontitis.
Recent scientific studies looking at the relationship between periodontitis and coronary heart disease found that there is a link between patients with periodontal disease in which they had a higher incidence of coronary heart disease. Plaque forming pathways of coronary heart disease may be initiated by the inflammatory factors found in periodontitis.

Furthermore, studies looking at incidence of preterm low birth weight babies and periodontitis found a direct link between the bacteria found in periodontitis and the incidence of preterm low birth weight. This indicates that infections in the mouth affect pregnancy outcomes resulting in premature babies.

Why is it that gum disease has such effects on the rest of the body? The answer to that is an ongoing issue and debated in science but in essence the effects of any infection involves inflammatory factors which tell the body that the immune system is required. This process may seem to be specific, but the signaling molecules involved are non specific and may invariable cause long term effects on other parts of the body that are prone to problems stemming from chronic inflammation.

The good news is that these issues are easily avoidable by proper oral hygiene regimes. This involves brushing and flossing teeth regularly and having an assessment completed by a dental professional to see if any gum disease exists and if so, how to properly correct the issue.

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