In recent years, several studies have revealed the relationship between periodontal disease and the risk of suffering from infectious respiratory pathologies such as pneumonia and bronchitis, or pulmonary conditions such as COPD. In this way, we can ensure that dental problems such as gingivitis or periodontitis do not only affect oral health: they can have many other consequences at a systemic level.
The prevention of periodontal diseases and the treatment of them can have positive effects in patients suffering from respiratory diseases, improving their diagnosis.
What are the periodontal sicknesses?
We call periodontal disease all those pathologies that affect the supporting tissues of the teeth, that is, the gums and the bone. They are infectious conditions caused by bacteria that cause an inflammatory response that destroys the gum and, later, assuming the loss of bone tissue.
We can distinguish two types of periodontal diseases depending on the degree of affection:
- Gingivitis consists of inflammation and reversible bleeding of the gums . If not treated in time, this pathology would lead to periodontitis.
- Periodontitis is a chronic disease that occurs with the infection of the supporting tissues, continues with tooth mobility and ends with the loss of teeth . In her they influence, in addition, another type of genetic, environmental factors
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
Although the most common symptom is bleeding gums, both when brushing teeth, chewing or spontaneously, there are a large number of factors that can indicate the presence of problems such as gingivitis or periodontitis:
- Bad breath
- Pain, itching or stinging of the gums
- Dental mobility
- Retraction of the gums, so that we can see a greater amount of tooth exposed to a lower amount of gum, until reaching the radicular exposure. The retraction of the gums directly influences, for example, the dental sensitivity
What are the consequences of periodontal disease?
If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis or periodontitis, you should bear in mind that these pathologies have no consequences only at the local level. While it is true that they cause inflammation of the gums and, in very advanced cases of periodontitis, the loss of teeth, periodontal diseases can have sequelae at a systemic level. That is, they can affect other parts of the body.
The presence of a large amount of bacteria under the gum causes them to pass into the blood and affect other parts of the body. Periodontitis is closely linked, for example, to the risk of cardiovascular disease, decompensation of diabetes or complications during pregnancy. In addition, the respiratory tract is linked to the oral cavity. Therefore, periodontal diseases are, in turn, also related to different respiratory conditions.
What is the relationship between periodontal diseases and respiratory diseases?
The anatomical continuity between the oral cavity and the lungs implies an intimate relationship between them. Various scientific evidences have linked periodontal diseases to the increased risk of suffering respiratory diseases or to worsen their diagnosis.
Among the most common respiratory conditions include pneumonia, bronchitis or exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Periodontal diseases and pneumonia
It seems an increasingly firm assertion that the maintenance of dental health can contribute positively to improving respiratory health and vice versa.In this way, several studies suggest an increased risk of both pneumonia and bronchitis in patients with poor oral health. Both pneumonia and bronchitis are diseases caused by the inflammation of organs that, in people with chronic respiratory diseases, are associated with high morbidity and mortality. According to the Spanish Society of Periodontology and Osseointegration (SEPA), in recent years it has become evident a marked increase in the incidence of both pathologies that, in many cases, have been related to the affection of non-habitual microorganisms.
Periodontal diseases and COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, is a pathology that affects the lungs and obstructs the respiratory tract, causing difficulty in breathing. This disorder is generally progressive and irreversible and, as it could not be otherwise, its main symptom is the decrease in respiratory capacity. In general, people exposed to tobacco smoke are usually the most affected. However, COPD is also related to other types of causes.
And recent studies have revealed that poor oral health not only increases the chances of suffering it, but that periodontal conditions are a risk factor in itself for the development of COPD.
This assertion is also valid in an inverse manner: patients with COPD are more likely to develop periodontal disease than those who do not suffer from this pulmonary disease.
Experts, while cautious in this area, emphasize the treatment of periodontal disease as a factor that reduces the number of exacerbations of COPD.
Given its high rate of morbidity and mortality, members of SEPA advise to establish effective protocols for the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease in order to improve the diagnosis of patients with respiratory pathologies.
Periodontal treatment is indicated to limit solidified tartar and bacterial plaque . Initially, a periodontal study was carried out to determine the state of the disease thanks to the probing of the gums and dental hygiene – prophylaxis. Subsequently, and under local anesthesia, we will perform a scaling and root planing to eradicate tartar and bacterial colonies around the root of the teeth.
Once the mouth is in health, periodontal maintenance is recommended every 3-4 months in order to maintain adequate plaque levels.
How to prevent periodontal disease?
Now that you know the negative effects of periodontal conditions on general health, how can you prevent periodontal disease?
To maintain the state of health of the gums is important to have proper oral hygiene. For this, it is necessary to follow a series of guidelines:
- Maintain a good oral hygiene routine: brushing teeth after each meal for at least two minutes or rinsing with mouthwash are acts that should be part of our daily oral cleansing. The use of dental floss, interproximal brushes or oral irrigators is especially recommended to help effectively eliminate food debris or dental plaque.
- Renewing the toothbrush, usually every three months, helps to maintain good oral hygiene and that brushing is effective
- Regularly visit the dentist in Dubai a way that periodically reviews the state of the gums and paute, if necessary, oral hygiene. It is vital to have the plate level controlled.
A simple review can help you detect and solve a problem that can have negative effects on your overall health.