Numerous studies have demonstrated a definitive connection between oral health and overall physical wellbeing.
Current research shows increasingly stronger connections between oral bacterial imbalance and serious systemic diseases such as Alzheimer's, cardiovascular, pulmonary and kidney as well as cancer and complications for diabetes, pregnancy and orthopedic implant failure.
These studies point out the strong oral-systemic link and how inflammation and infection associated with periodontal disease can exacerbate other health problems.
• Bacteria enter the body’s circulatory system through the gums, causing remote secondary infections and contributing to disease in other tissues and organs.
• Inflammation associated with periodontal disease may stimulate a secondary systemic inflammatory response within the body as inflammatory products travel from the mouth through the blood stream and contribute to other diseases with an inflammatory origin.
• Bacteria on the tongue base and in saliva may also be aspirated into the lungs, potentially causing pulmonary infection and pneumonia – a special concern for the elderly or others with weakened immune systems.
Periodontal disease is preventable. Dental and medical professionals can protect not only the oral health of patients, but their overall wellbeing by:
• assessing patient risk for periodontal disease,
• screening at-risk patients for the presence of harmful pathogens with a microbial analysis
• coaching patients in effective methods of biofilm control,
• demonstrating the presence of disease to the patient by explaining the number of bleeding on probing points (BOP) and Papillary Bleeding Score (PBS),
• using a pre-procedural rinse and irrigation of infected pockets prior to scaling,
• using an antibiotic/antimicrobial rinse following scaling to prevent spreading infection from unhealthy to healthy sites.