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Mouth - Body Connection

Research studies have shown that there is a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy complications and respiratory disease.

Periodontal disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gum tissue, periodontal infection below the gum line and a presence of disease-causing bacteria in the oral region.  Halting the progression of periodontal disease and maintaining excellent standards of oral hygiene will not only reduce the risk of gum disease and bone loss, but also reduce the chances of developing other serious illnesses.

Common cofactors associated with periodontal disease:

Diabetes

A research study has shown that individuals with pre-existing diabetic conditions are more likely to either have, or be more susceptible to periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease can increase blood sugar levels which makes controlling the amount of glucose in the blood difficult.  This factor alone can increase the risk of serious diabetic complications.  Conversely, diabetes thickens blood vessels and therefore makes it harder for the mouth to rid itself of excess sugar.  Excess sugar in the mouth creates a breeding ground for the types of oral bacteria that cause gum disease.

Heart Disease

There are several theories which explain the link between heart disease and periodontitis.  One such theory is that the oral bacteria strains which exacerbate periodontal disease attach themselves to the coronary arteries when they enter the bloodstream. This in turn contributes to both blood clot formation and the narrowing of the coronary arteries, possibly leading to a heart attack.

A second possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease causes a significant plaque build up.  This can swell the arteries and worsen pre-existing heart conditions.  An article published by the American Academy of Periodontology suggests that patients whose bodies react to periodontal bacteria have an increased risk of developing heart disease.

Pregnancy Complications

Women in general are at increased risk of developing periodontal disease because of hormone fluctuations that occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.  Research suggests that pregnant women suffering from periodontal disease are more at risk of preeclampsia and delivering underweight, premature babies.

Periodontitis increases levels of prostaglandin, which is one of the labor-inducing chemicals.  Elevated levels prostaglandin may trigger premature labor, and increase the chances of delivering an underweight baby.  Periodontal disease also elevates C-reactive proteins (which have previously been linked to heart disease).  Heightened levels of these proteins can amplify the inflammatory response of the body and increase the chances of preeclampsia and low birth weight babies.

Respiratory Disease

Oral bacterium linked with gum disease has been shown to possibly cause or worsen conditions such as emphysema, pneumonia and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).  Oral bacteria can be drawn into the lower respiratory tract during the course of normal inhalation and colonize, causing bacterial infections. Studies have shown that the repeated infections which characterize COPD may be linked with periodontitis.

In addition to the bacterial risk, inflammation in gum tissue can lead to severe inflammation in the lining of the lungs, which aggravates pneumonia.  Individuals who suffer from chronic or persistent respiratory issues generally have low immunity.  This means that bacteria can readily colonize beneath the gum line unchallenged by body’s immune system.

If you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease and the mouth-body connection, please contact our office. We care about your overall health and your smile!

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Testimonials

I had a crown that was done about four months ago and it started hurting real bad. It felt like I was being hit in the face with a wet sock full of nickels. I yelped Endodontist and saw Dr. Cancellier's great reviews and he was one of the few doctors open at 8am. They were able to see me the same morning I called and he accessed my tooth and set an appointment for the next morning for the root canal. I heard so many horror stories about root canals so I was scared and nervous. Dr. Cancellier explained the whole process and told me not to worry because he would make it as pain free as possible. He wasn't lying. I fell asleep a couple of times during the procedure cause I was so comfortable. He gave me some pain meds for afterwards when the mouth numbing wears off but I didn't need it at all. Painless during and after. It was an awesome experience. If you need a root canal, save yourself some tears and pain and call this guy right now.

M.C.

I went to another dentist and was told I needed a ton of dental work to fix a bad root canal, including an extraction and an implant. Well, I am the biggest chicken when it comes to any dental work, so I thought I needed a 2nd opinion. I was so lucky that a friend’s dentist Dr. Uchizono referred me to Dr. Cancellier. Dr. Cancellier had to do a lot of scary things to my tooth, but he did save it. I went in for 2 procedures. I felt no pain. (Not even the shots, which usually take me over the edge). Dr. C and his staff were so nice and caring. I got a phone call the day and a few days later checking on me. I told them I could not believe that I was ok. I laughed and said the only problem I had was that I needed to go in for a massage after the 1st procedure because I was so tense that my shoulders needed to be worked on. The 2nd procedure went as smoothly as the first one. The only difference was that I did not need a massage, because I knew that I wouldn’t feel any pain. Thank you Dr. C for taking such good care of me and for saving me a ton of money and more, for saving me from experiencing pain.

N.A.

My dentist sent me to Dr. Cancellier for a bad root canal performed by an out of state endodontist. He was very gentle and took a lot of time with me. He noted that I had a significant amount of infection in my sinus and requested that I see an ENT before treating me further.

Later, it was determined I needed another root canal on another tooth which was discovered after I had returned to Dr. Cancellier after nasal surgery because the nerve had died. I was not looking forward to it because of the poor experience I had with a root canal at the other endodontist. The experience I had with Dr. Cancellier couldn't have been different. Both Dr. and staff were gentle and the procedure was done in half the time and with virtually no discomfort. I walked out of his office an extremely happy person.

C.H.

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