How Gum Disease May Inhibit Your Breathing

breathe easy 300x200 How Gum Disease May Inhibit Your BreathingIf you are a patient of ours, or a regular reader of our blog, then you are likely aware that gum disease is a dangerous epidemic among the American population. In fact, over 80% of adults under the age of 60 have the disease to some extent, and it can be blamed for the majority of adult tooth loss today. To exacerbate the seriousness of gum disease, a slew of recent research suggests that the presence of the disease, and the germs that are responsible for it, can significantly increase your risk of systemic illnesses. Miami dentist, Dr. Arun Garg, explores one such study that examines gum disease’s possible connection to respiratory infections and illnesses.

The Respiratory Arm of Oral-Systemic Health

Respiratory illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, pneumonia, and many others, begin when you inhale bacteria from your upper throat into your lower respiratory tract. Similarly, gum disease begins when excessive bacteria accumulate along your gum line in the form of dental plaque. Many studies that examine the oral-systemic connection, which describes your oral health’s relationship to your physical wellbeing, focus on the fact that diseased oral tissue can offer a way for harmful oral pathogens to enter your bloodstream. In a study published in the Journal of Periodontology, however, scientists decided to look at the possibility of another vehicle for bacterial invasion—breathing.

The study included 200 participants, all of whom had at least 20 natural teeth, and half of which were hospitalized for chronic respiratory illness. The other 100 subjects were healthy and had no history of respiratory trouble. After thorough dental examinations of all participants, the results suggest that the hospitalized patients had significantly worse periodontal (gum) health than their counterparts, indicating that the oral pathogens responsible for gum disease may exacerbate or contribute to the development of lung issues.

Keep Your Smile Healthy in Miami

To learn more about protecting your oral and physical health, or to schedule a dental consultation with Dr. Arun Garg, contact the Center for Complete Dentistry by calling 305-935-4991, or visit our website to schedule your appointment online. Located in the 33180 area, we proudly serve patients from Miami, Highland Lakes, North Miami Beach, and the surrounding communities.

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