Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes and Effects

Hi, this is Dr. Robert Antolak from from Macomb County, Michigan. Our phone number is 586-247-3500. The Gentle Dentist is our name of our website,

What I like to do is discuss something that affects over 50% of the adult population. And that is what’s called periodontal disease or gum disease. Periodontal disease is an infection that develops from bacteria. Certain bacteria that gets below the gum line. It’s an irritant, and it causes our bodies to product enzymes that start dissolving the bone that’s around the teeth.

Periodontal disease is the number one reason why adults lose their teeth and it’s something that is preventable. It’s prevented by getting into your dentist on a regular basis.

Periodontal disease, because it is a bacterial infection, it is something that is actually transmissible. So you can give it to somebody, if they have not been diagnosed with it and share silverware, and things like that. Periodontal disease, because of the bone loss that’s developed, it requires o come into the dentist not only once every 6 months, but sometimes once every 3 months, or every 4 months to take care of the problem.

Periodontal disease, also known as pyorrhea loosens the teeth up. Because as people over time, they lose bone around the teeth. It loses the support of the teeth. So we are basically talking about a bacterial infection that affects the body’s immune system and it affects the bone around the teeth. Bone teeth can loosen up and you can lose teeth from it.

One thing I find so much in literature and the scientific community really shows a link between periodontal / gum disease, and heart disease and diabetes. And how it is, these bacteria that I’m talking about, they’re under the gums and they have quick access to the blood stream. When it gets into the blood it can actually build up on the, the arteries of the heart and start forming calcifications. Which can affect the blood flow and eventually possibly stroke and or heart attack that can develop from that.

We also know what periodontal disease affects diabetes and vice versa. Because diabetes affects our immune systems in our bodies for those who are diagnosed with diabetes. Our bodies don’t have the ability to fight off the infection like we would like to see. And so we find that there are many, many diabetics who are prone to periodontal disease. The good news is that when somebody gets the, the gum disease or periodontal disease treated is that sometimes the insulin levels are reduced and something called your Beta A-1, C levels are reduced which also means that your blood sugar levels are more stabilized because of it.

Also another thing that I find significant is that those people who are smokers have a much higher risk for developing gum disease. It seems like when I get somebody into my office and I start looking at their x-rays and I see that there’s bone loss around teeth, and I start inquiring, 90-95% of the time, they are smokers. Unfortunately, nicotine reduces the amount of circulation to the teeth and the gums that surround the teeth. Therefore, it reduces the levels of the disease fighting cells in our blood to that area.

So what I want to do is to encourage you if you’re not a smoker, surely don’t start. Not only because the health of our bodies but also because of our teeth and in how it support of it. But also the people you effect around you. If you are a smoker, I would encourage you to quit. Quitting is difficult, I know that nicotine is more addictive than heroin. I’ve never smoked but know people who have and how difficult it is. But there are people if there’s a reason big enough to stop, they will stop.

We’ve helped to encourage a number of patients in our office to be smoke free and it’s a blessing to be able to so. And they’ve been around for years and they’re so happy that they did quit because it helps with their ability to taste food. They can breathe easier. They also don’t have no issues with the family and the social stigma that comes along with it. And standing out in the winter months to smoke that cigarette because of the anxiety that it brings. So smoking is bad as we all know and we encourage you to quit. Just think about it. Would you want your son or daughter to smoke because of something that you influenced them to do?

Not only does smoking cause periodontal disease, it causes heart disease and all the issues that go along with that. And people know all about that. So my encouragement to you is to go smoke-free. Set a date for that time. If you’d like to have some help with that either go to your physician. We also have the ability to prescribe certain medications to help you with that process. And just make a decision and go with it. Not only do that, and then be disease-free in your mouth too, at the same time.

Thank you and have a blessed day.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes and Effects

If you have questions on periodontal (gum) disease or give Shelby Township Dental Office a call today.