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GUM DISEASE MAY BE FATAL!stained glass hummingbird

Gum disease, that silent and painless killer of teeth, may be much more serious than it seems. Recent scientific studies have suggested that periodontal disease (pus pockets or pyorrhea) has been linked to coronary artery disease.

Dentists and physicians have known for some time that patients who have had a history of rheumatic fever or who have had any artificial devices implanted in the body may be susceptible to disease caused by infectious agents introduced during dental procedures. Such patients are routinely premedicated with antibiotics before they may undergo any type of dental treatments, including routine cleaning visits.

It is not normal for gums to bleed. The warm, moist environment of the mouth is a perfect breeding ground for organisms of disease, including bacteria, spirochetes, amebas, and other infectious and pathogenic organisms. When gums bleed, these germs may freely travel through the blood stream to vital organs and tissues. They tend to stick to structures such as heart valves, causing health problems far removed from the site of origin. People who are fairly healthy may be able to fight off such attacks with their immune systems, but weakened individuals are definitely at risk.

Dr. Walter Loesche recently concluded from his research that periodontal disease is definitely a risk factor when it comes to cardiovascular disease. His research was partially based on a study done in Finland in 1989, which linked coronary artery disease and periodontal disease (gum disease). The Finnish study noted that "periodontal disease and poor oral hygiene are stronger indicators of risk of total mortality than of coronary heart disease."

Gum disease may be prevented or controlled by good oral hygiene, including regular professional cleanings and proper home care. The necessary materials, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss, are cheap and readily available. Preventing gum disease may also prevent the necessity of expensive restorative dentistry.

Your dental hygienist will be happy to teach you how to take proper care of your gums. Do not delay. Saving your gums may add years to your life.

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Halifax Dentistry, LLC
Pentti J. Nupponen, DMD, MAGD, FIND, CNC, FIAOMT
717-896-3911, 800-929-2844, www.drnupe.com

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