Gum (Periodontal Disease) and other Diseases of the Body
Periodontal disease (infection of the gum and bone around teeth) once thought to be associated with the inevitable consequence of aging has had much research invested in it. We have now come to learn that there are many risk factors and risk-indicators associated with it. But also, periodontal disease is linked to many other diseases of the body. These include Osteoporosis, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke and Cardiovascular issues.
It has been widely accepted that these diseases may predispose to periodontal disease but only now new evidence is coming about to state the reverse – that periodontal disease may predispose or at least be considered a risk factor for system disease.
Since these discoveries we are evaluating chronic oral diseases very carefully since we know that they are interrelated with systemic diseases in an important way. Careful assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning is required if we are to prevent the onset of such conditions.
It is now no longer acceptable to categorize gum disease as an event of old age. We must take further responsibility to eliminate and prevent both the oral condition and its inter-related systemic risk factors.
Next: Periodontal Examination