Periodontal disease is a common and challenging bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. It can also affect the whole body in strikingly dangerous ways. Periodontal disease can even delay conception and cause harm to mother and baby during pregnancy. Alarmingly, scientific research shows that up to 85 percent of the adult population has some level of periodontal (gum) disease and only about 10 percent know they have it.
How dangerous is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can wreak havoc on the entire body. Bad breath and bleeding, swollen and/or recessed gums can be some of the first signs of periodontal disease, but may not be obvious until the middle to late stages of the disease. If left untreated, the disease can lead to bone loss in the jaw, more serious gum abscesses (“gum boils”), loose teeth and even tooth loss. Most of all, the health of the entire body is at risk when periodontal disease is present.
What’s worse, periodontal disease is highly contagious and can be transmitted via mouth-to-mouth kissing or by sharing food and/or drinks. It’s an inflammatory disease, which is why it is so destructive to every organ and cell in your body (and your developing baby). So it’s important for both partners to get checked—and treated—even before conception. In addition to being harmful to mother and baby during development, periodontal disease can also affect conception. An Australian study published in 2012 found that women with periodontal disease take an average of two months longer to conceive (seven months) than those without gum problems (five months).
What are my options?
Because periodontal disease is such a complex infection, its management requires a multi-faceted approach. There are many steps you can take to avoid gum surgery, loss of teeth and complications in the rest of the body as long as you are under the watchful eye of a dental professional experienced in treating periodontal disease.
For decades, Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha of Port Warwick Dental Arts has been urging people to understand the direct correlation between good dental health and overall wellness. Over the last three decades, Dr. Samaha has developed a private practice devoted to comprehensive dental care for the ultimate goal of what she refers to as “Total Body Wellness through Complete Health Dentistry.”
You may have periodontal disease…
AND WE CAN HELP!
Lisa Marie Samaha, DDS
Creating Beautiful, Healthy Smiles
in Hampton Roads since 1982