We hope this gum disease video helps you find out more about the links between your dental health and overall health. If the videos do not load properly, we have provided the transcripts for you below. To schedule an appointment with your premier Franklin dentist, call (615) 591-0294.

Robert Jaffin: Gum disease or periodontal disease, has been associated with various systemic diseases. But, over time, we’ve learned that the mouth is the portal into the rest of the body, and it certainly is connected to other organ systems. In cardiovascular disease, it’s been shown that the bacteria from the mouth can increase the degree of plaque found in the heart. It’s not that they find the bacteria, but inflammation is the key factor here. So the fact of the matter is, that uncontrolled periodontal disease can affect the systemic health of somebody with cardiovascular disease, with diabetes. They’ve found that women with uncontrolled periodontal disease have babies with lower birth weight, on average. So certainly, you want to control the infection that’s in the mouth.

Robert Jaffin: Unfortunately, most people aren’t even aware that they have periodontal disease. So going to the Periodontist or to the dentist is key in making the diagnosis and treating the disease so that, other parts of your body aren’t affected. [inaudible 00:01:12] most people aren’t aware that they have gum disease. Their gums might bleed a little. Very few people to your office and say, “I know I have periodontal disease, what can you do?” They think the bleeding gums are normal. But, bleeding gums is not normal. Your gums shouldn’t be bleeding, and that’s just one sign of gum disease. Redness, mobility of teeth, pain is rarely a symptom. So the most important thing the patient could do is to see the dentist regularly to be diagnosed with probings and radiographs. And if there is periodontal disease, is to treat it and keep it under control so that these other factors don’t come in over time and affect your systemic health.

Pamela McClain: Research has shown that periodontal disease can be linked to a number of other systemic diseases that are all tied together by this inflammation, and that includes cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even the incidence of preterm low birth weight babies. All of these are tied to inflammation, which is the core cause of periodontal disease.

Pamela McClain: The relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes appears to be a two-way street. Individuals who have diabetes are at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease, and likewise, those with periodontal disease, individuals that are already diabetic, find it much harder to control their diabetic status and may have more complications with their diabetes than in individuals who have no periodontal disease.

Pamela McClain: Individuals that have pancreatic cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s disease, have been linked to having a higher association of periodontal disease, and the common link between those diseases again appears to be the inflammatory component of both those diseases.

Speaker 2: Beautiful.

Pamela McClain: Recently there has been a number of studies that have come out and demonstrated a link between periodontal disease and conditions like pancreatic cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, and the common link between those diseases again happens to be the inflammatory component. These conditions are all associated with an increased level of inflammation, which we know is, in periodontal disease, a direct result of the destructive nature of this disease.

Pamela McClain: Well, there are clear links between periodontal disease and other systemic conditions. The absolute cause relationship has not been clearly established, and as a result, we need to find out what those relationships truly are, and more research will allow us to identify those measures.

Speaker 2: Great.