Gum Disease – Far More Serious Than You Think

Did you know that there are more bacteria in your mouth right now than there are people on earth?  A scary thought but it doesn’t mean you’re riddled with gum disease! The vast majority of bacteria that live in our mouths and in the whole of our body are on the friendly side.  In fact they actively help to keep gum disease at bay, and keep our bodies healthy by curbing the activities of their more ominous brethren at bay – the bacteria that can make us very ill.

All is fine until the balance between the good guys (beneficial bacteria) and the bad guys (pathogens) is disrupted.  Scientists call this imbalance dysbiosis and when the pathogens start to dominate, the human body will become ill.

P.gingivalis is a pathogen that can cause havoc in the mouth as well in other parts of the body.   As its name suggests, it is a key culprit in the development of gingivitis – a mild form of gum disease which causes inflammation of the gum tissue. Whilst this disease is not destructive, it can lead to a more serious oral condition called periodonitis – where tissue is destroyed and teeth are likely to be lost – if not treated and controlled.

 

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Recent research has shown that P.gingivalis is like the leader of the pack – it actually blocks the body’s immune cells which are trying to right the disease whilst simultaneously allowing unhealthy cells to cause inflammation.  For this reason,  P.gingivalis is known as a ‘keystone pathogen’.

Keystone pathogens can gain access to the bloodstream, for example via small cuts in the gums, and go on to cause irritable bowel diseasecolon cancer and other inflammatory diseases.

So not only can P.gingivalis dominate the friendly bacteria in their mouth and cause gum disease, but it can also cause a range of other diseases.

Watch this great 3 minute educational video from the makers of LISTERINE® Antiseptic which nicely illustrates the connection between oral and systemic health in people with advanced gum disease.

So how can people keep P.gingivalis in check to reduce the likelihood of gum disease and associated systemic disease?  Good oral hygiene is the fundamental weapon in the fight against gingivitis and periodonitis, although some people are more prone to developing these conditions.  Regular dental check-ups will soon identify if a patient has gingivitis and treatment is available for these people as well as those with full blown periodonitis.

In the unfortunate situation where a patient has lost teeth due to periodonitis, teeth dental implants are a great permanent option. Our dental implant centre in Maidstone provides treatment for gum disease with our resident periodotists as well as a range of teeth replacement implants.

If you have been affected by tooth loss and would like to discuss dental implants with The Implant Experts, call to arrange your free initial chat with our Dental Implant Co-ordinator where you can discuss your situation, find out what the various treatment options entail and their prices.

Some information in this article was taken from www.medicalnewstoday.com

 

Anthony Bendkowski (GDC No. 57249)

Anthony Bendkowski or ‘Ben’ to his team, is a specialist in oral surgery in practice limited to implant reconstructive surgery in London and the South East of England. He qualified from University College Hospital Dental School, London in 1982 and subsequently gained extensive experience in both hospital and practice-based oral surgery.

He has over twenty five years of experience in both the surgical and restorative management of implant cases. He has a keen interest in all aspects of dental education and has lectured on and run bone augmentation and implant training courses, as well as lecturing on business skills for successful implant practice for a number of years. He is a Past President of the Association of Dental Implantology (UK) and an examiner for the Edinburgh Diploma in Implant Dentistry as well as for Membership in Oral Surgery for the Royal College of Surgeons, England.

Clinically Ben undertakes all aspects of implant treatment, including Teeth in a Day/All on 4 surgery, aesthetic anterior tooth replacement, and complex cases involving extensive bone reconstruction.

In his spare time he is a keen pilot and can regularly be seen flying his vintage WW II aircraft in airshows. Ben also enjoys playing guitar badly with a local band, ‘Leaky Tap’.

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