Periodontitis and Our Bodies

Dr. Jeffrey Ganeles recently lectured Baptist Health South Florida medical clinicians and a host of other dental professionals during an informational, virtual seminar. His topic dealt with the alarming relationship between periodontitis (a chronic immune-inflammatory disease of the supporting structures of the teeth, also known as severe gum disease) and a host of other systemic issues of the body.

More and more research continues to point to a link between gum disease and a growing list of serious health concerns including diabetes, heart disease, GI issues, low birthweight and pre-term births, lower respiratory infections, Alzheimer’s disease and more —even worse outcomes with Covid-19.

“CDC statistics show us that nearly 50% of adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of periodontal disease,” notes Dr. Ganeles. “More and more studies point to how pathogens in a diseased mouth can spread to the rest of the body, causing serious, inflammatory effects.”

Dr. Ganeles reminded the medical practitioners that many of the ailments they are treating could, in fact, be impacted by their patient’s oral health. He notes that while gum disease patients may realize some oral benefits by quitting smoking and improving oral hygiene maintenance at home, they will probably also require regular deeper, specialized periodontal cleanings. Other more aggressive interventions may be necessary in order to attempt to halt the progression of severe periodontal infection.

“Medical and dental professionals obviously all want the best for our patients,” he says. “If one of my periodontal gum disease patients is being treated for diabetes, for instance, the patient should know that their glycemic control may be more challenging because they have gum disease.”

If you suspect you have gum disease, please contact us at South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry (561-912-9883) or contact us online. Think of it like this: You may not only be improving your oral heath but the health of your entire body!