Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic inflammatory disease of the mouth, which is caused by microorganisms contained in dental plaque. Richter has been focused on the whole body systemic effect of oral health for years and has written numerous articles on the link to other inflammatory diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. The reason Richter believes there is a connection? “Bacteria from infected gums may enter the bloodstream and attach itself to blood vessels or even be transported to various areas of the body,” explains Richter. While there is still much left to be learned about the interaction between gum disease and other illnesses, it is still worth noting that good oral care at home and with one’s dentist will impact one’s overall health and wellness.
Richter notes that when it comes to oral health, preventive care is the most important option for patients. “when patients come to our office, they not only get the thorough in-office care that they would expect, they also get strict instructions on the best homecare routines for themselves and their families. Maintaining effective oral hygiene routines, including visiting your dentist for regularly scheduled cleanings; brushing after meals; chewing gum with xylitol; flossing; and the use of a water irrigator, like Waterpik, will reduce cavities, reduce periodontal disease and it seems now if this study is an accurate indicator, these good oral hygiene habits may even reduce the risk of breast cancer.”
Source: Jonathan Richter, DDS, FAGD, of Cardiodontal (310 E. Shore Rd., Ste. 101, Great Neck). For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 516-282-0310.