Do you have bad breath, bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, loose teeth or history of tooth loss?  If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you may have periodontal disease. Gum disease is very common. Unfortunately most people don’t even know that they have periodontal (gum) disease.  It isn’t until it is too late when their teeth start getting loose that they want to do something about it and many times it is too late and they have to have their teeth removed or need extensive treatment.  In fact, with recent research linking the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and low birth weight babies with periodontal disease and bleeding gums it is critical to have your mouth assessed for this infective disease. The bacteria in the gums leach out in the blood stream requiring the body’s immune system to constantly fight off these invaders.

This constant and chronic immune response is not a good thing because it causes chronic inflammation. Over the past 3-4 years research has been showing that chronic systemic inflammatory diseases such as periodontal disease can increase the level of a substance called c-Reactive protein. The liver releases this substance in response to systemic inflammation.  As the level of c-reactive protein increases so does the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart attack, and diabetes according to multiple clinical studies. In fact, testing for C-reactive protein in a blood test may be an effective early warning test for asymptomatic, or presymptomatic heart disease.

Listed are chronic systemic diseases that can increase the c-Reactive protein levels in the blood.

  • acne allergies and sensitivities
  • Alzheimer’ss disease
  • arthritis/rheumatoid arthritis
  • asthma
  • atherosclerosis
  • bronchitis
  • cancer
  • carditis
  • celiac disease
  • chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • cirrhosis
  • colitis
  • dementia
  • dermatitis
  • diabetes
  • edema
  • emphysema
  • eczema
  • fibromyalgia
  • gastroenteritis
  • gingivitis
  • heart disease
  • hepatitis
  • high blood pressure
  • interstitial cystitis
  • myositis
  • nephritis
  • obesity
  • osteopenia
  • osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • periodontal disease
  • polyarteritis
  • polychondritis
  • psoriasis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • scleroderma
  • sinusitis
  • spastic colon
  • syndrome X
  • systemic candidiasis
  • tendonitis
  • UTI
  • vaginitis

We find that the c-reactive protein levels can significantly fall once the periodontal disease is treated which in effect can reduce their risk for heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and low weight preterm babies. In addition to the treatment in our office, we work to boost the body/s immune system by using anti-oxidants. For smokers, we highly suggest to them that they become part of a smoking cessation program. If you are in a high risk category and don’t know your status of periodontal disease then have it evaluated.  The c-reactive protein levels are evaluated by blood tests and since this is important indicator your periodontal status should also be tested.  This is to protect you and your heart.  If you don’t have a dentist you can contact our office at (586) 247-3500.  Our Dental Office is located in Shelby Township, Michigan — Southeast Michigan in Macomb County.
About The Author

Dr. Robert Antolak, DDS graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality and appropriate cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry in the most comfortable and gentle way possible. Because being a dentist has been a lifelong dream, Dr. Antolak has a passion for the profession. He enjoys helping people feel better about their smiles and therefore their self-image with dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. His Dental Practice is located in Shelby Township, Michigan.  For more information visit The Gentle Dentist.