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The Mouth-Body Connection

Inflammation is the driving force behind all major age-related disease, including Alzheimer's Disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease. Evidence suggests a possible link between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases. In fact, there is evidence that people with periodontal disease have an increased likelihood of also having heart disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and chronic obstructive respiratory disease. There is also a possible association between periodontal disease and preterm or low weight births. The common thread is inflammation, which damages tissues. The level of inflammation in the body can be evaluated by measuring C-reactive protein in the blood.

You can see why treating periodontal disease and controlling this source of inflammation is so important to a person's overall wellness. For example, it has been shown that treating periodontal disease will decrease some of the symptoms (redness, swelling, pain) of rheumatoid arthritis, and also makes it easier to control blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Treatment of periodontal disease and attention to regular daily oral hygiene, as well as regular periodontal check-ups is essential. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight and attention to good nutrition is equally important. In addition to a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and low is sugars, trans-fats, and sodium, supplements to help maintain health and decrease inflammation should include a daily multi-vitamin along with Calcium, Vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA,DHA). Low-dose aspirin and low-dose doxycycline (Periostat) may also be recommended.