The next time you lean in to give your spouse, significant other or child a kiss, you may want to consider the following. As much as 85 percent of the adult population has some level of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the most common chronic infection known to man. It is considered a transmissible, infectious disease and is easily spread through kissing and sharing food or drinks. (All three things that most of us do daily!)
Early detection is key as the longer a person has gum disease, the more aggressive the bacteria becomes. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, if one person in the family is diagnosed with periodontal disease, the entire family should be evaluated. Keep in mind this is a highly contagious disease. No need to stop smooching those you love most, just be responsible and proactive!
Gum disease is an inflammatory disease, which is why it is so destructive to every organ and cell in your body. Controlling your gum disease is imperative for not only keeping your teeth but equally as important for your overall health. The bacteria that cause gum disease can spread from your mouth to the rest of your body. Research has shown direct links between gum disease and premature birth, heart attacks, strokes and lung and kidney disease. This disease may also be a factor in multiple cancers and even Alzheimer’s disease. Periodontal disease can worsen diabetes and diabetes can worsen periodontal disease. This life threatening disease is often referred to as a silent disease until symptoms appear usually in its mid to late stages.
According to dental research, one-third of the population has a genetic marker for the disease. Anyone at any age can easily be tested for the genetic marker for periodontal disease through a simple DNA-PCR salivary test. Just because you are positive for the genetic marker does not mean you have to lose your teeth. It simply means you are at a higher risk for gum disease and might have to work a little harder from preventing it.
If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, another important thing to test is the specific bacteria which are causing your disease. This can be tested through the bacterial DNA salivary test. By knowing which specific bacteria is contaminating your mouth and infects your bloodstream, the disease can be better managed, healing is accelerated and long-term complications are minimized.
Proper nutrition along with the proper nutritional supplements help boost the entire immune system and nourish the oral soft tissues when necessary. Soft tissue in the mouth is the most vulnerable tissue in the body and any periodontal bacteria living in the mouth are some of the most aggressive of anywhere in the body.
Along with a medical consultation, simple testing and nutritional support, proper gum therapy removes calcified debris on root surfaces. This treatment helps reduce inflammation and the depth of pockets between the teeth and gums.
Once you have been diagnosed with gum disease you will always be at risk for reoccurring. However, with the proper testing, treatment and maintenance- you will remain kissable, healthy and safe to those who love you the most!