Health and Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is no longer thought of as just a dental
problem. Research is finding many correlations between
periodontal infection and serious medical problems.
Throughout your life your overall health may change and
therefore your oral care needs may change. Healthy gums
helps you to a healthier body.
When periodontal infection gets into the bone around your
teeth, the infection releases bacteria and toxins into the
bloodstream leading to serious health risks.
While the exact mechanisms for their influence are unclear,
there are many fascinating theories. Below are some of the
If you think you have periodontal disease, you may want to
see a periodontist like Dr. Hoffmeyer, who is a specialist
with extra skills and training in the prevention, diagnosis
and treatment of periodontal disease.
Diabetes and other medical diseases can lower the body's
resistance to infection and inflammation by periodontal
Heart medicines (calcium channel blockers)
Anti-seizure medications (epileptic seizures)
Organ transplant medications
drugs reduce the flow of saliva, causing dry mouth,
red tissue, increased plaque and calculus, bleeding gums, bad breath and
increased risk of periodontal problems.
Other drugs cause
enlarged gum tissue.
Keep your mouth moist and stimulate saliva flow by often
sipping cool water.
Allow ice chips to melt in your mouth
Chew sugarless gum or candy
Lubricate you lips with lip balm
Use saliva substitute or medication that may stimulate
Use humidifier at home to reduce nighttime oral dryness
Avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol and acidic,
carbonated or caffeinated beverages (alcohol, coffee)
because these chemicals will dry out your mouth.
Dr. Hoffmeyer may recommend a home use fluoride
toothpaste and may give you a topical fluoride treatment
during your dental visit.
heart disease include smoking, obesity / overweight, high
cholesterol or high blood pressure.
It is known that periodontal disease, a bacterial infection,
may contribute to infective endocarditis (inflammation of
the lining of the heart and heart valves) in risk patients
(rheumatic fever, mitral valve prolapse, heart murmur).
These patients may require antibiotics prior to dental
Please consult with your cardiologist.
Recent research has shown that periodontal bacteria enter
the blood stream and may attach to fatty plaques in arteries
(heart blood vessels). A build-up of fatty proteins and
thickening of the coronary artery walls contributes to clot
formation, obstruction of normal blood flow, restriction of
nutrients and oxygen to the heart leading to heart attack.
Studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are
2 times more likely (compared to people with no periodontal
disease) to suffer a fatal heart attack and 3 times more
likely to suffer a stroke. A study of over 800 stroke
victims indicates that advanced gum disease can increase the
risk of stroke by over 50% in adults aged 25-54.
Periodontal bacteria have been found in the lungs of people
with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is believed
that people can aspirate the bacteria from the mouth into
the lungs, thereby contributing to the development of
diseases as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema.
affected with this disease are 2 times more likely to have
periodontal disease with bone loss and double as many
missing teeth. The damage is caused b immune system and
Research shows evidence, that genes play a major role in the
onset and severity of periodontal diseases.
A genetic marker in European heritage puts 30% of Europeans
at higher risk of periodontal disease. These have a 5 times
higher risk of periodontal disease.
Dr. Hoffmeyer can test you for your genetic links (U.S.A.).
are susceptible to periodontal diseases, your treatment will
consist of closer and more intensive preventive measures.
DNA testing has found that periodontal bacteria can be
transmitted through saliva from parent to child and spouse
Periodontal disease is a low grade chronic infection. Any
time a person has an infection, one will be more susceptible
to other infections because the body’s energy is being used
to fight the basic infection.
Stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight
off infection, including periodontal diseases.
HIV / Aids
Fungal disease can manifest itself on gum and oral soft
tissue. Is usually seen in children and under dentures.
A diet low in important nutrients can make it harder
for the body to fight off infection
Calcium (milk) – causes stronger teeth during development and
stronger bone structure
Vitamin C – a natural balance participates in keeping gums
Vitamin B - a natural balance participates in immune
Water – keeps gums moist and washes away food.
Sugar - can together with inadequate oral hygiene increase
the amount of cavities.
Hormonal changes can affect the blood supply to the gums,
and response to irritants from plaque may be exaggerated.
Female hormones can make the gum tissue more sensitive to
Remember it is the plaque, not
fluctuating hormone levels, that is the major cause of
Gingivitis - inflamed gums
Chronic gingivitis: Is often seen in adolescents due
to improper oral hygiene.
Local Aggressive Periodontitis: Can affect young
healthy people and is mainly seen on first molars (chewing
teeth) and incisors (upper front teeth). The bone loss can
be rapid and is characterized by very little dental plaque
Generalized Aggressive Periodontitis: This is like
the aggressive form, but involves the entire mouth and has
heavy accumulation of plaque and calculus with inflamed gums
and possible tooth loss.
Periodontitis associated with systemic diseases include:
Type 1 diabetes, Down’s syndrome and Papillon-Lefevre
can cause difficulty in performing
optimal hygiene around brackets.
to Dr. Hoffmeyer about
an oral irrigator.
Medications and Mouth breathing: can cause dry mouth
and swollen gums.
Teeth grinding: can increase the risk of developing
periodontal disease, can cause cracked or chipped teeth. A
custom-fitted mouth guard can protect the teeth at night
Saliva: Research suggests that periodontal disease
can pass through saliva. This means that the common contact
of saliva in families may put children and couples at risk
for contracting periodontal diseases of another family
Remember early diagnosis ensures greater chance for
A child should visit the dentist when the first tooth
Regular check-ups will monitor oral hygiene,
emphasize preventive care and establish confidence to the
dental office environment.
This is a gift to a child and adolescent
towards achieving a healthy smile, confidence and
Help your child achieve clean teeth and gums.
Use a soft
toothbrush and floss to establish the habit at a young age.
Check your child’s mouth for any signs of bleeding,
puffiness, redness, recession (gums pulling back) and bad
Reward your child’ good oral hygiene habits with “a
visit from the tooth fairy”.
The production of sex hormones (progesterone and estrogen)
in females may cause an increase in gum redness, sensitivity
The production of sex hormones may cause gum bleeding,
redness, swelling, burning sensation or sores on the inside
of the lip and cheek and swollen salivary glands. This
occurs in the days before your period begins and goes away
once your period starts.
These synthetic hormones increase the level
of progesterone in your system and may cause gums to swell,
bleed. Antibiotics given in periodontal treatment can lessen
the effect of oral contraceptives.
Researchers have found that women undergoing infertility
treatment and who are subjected to ovulation induction for
more than 3 menstrual cycles had higher levels of gingival
inflammation and bleeding. More studies are needed to
determine if periodontal health affects infertility
“ pregnancy gingivitis”, beginning in the 2nd-3rd
month increasing in severity
cases, the gums can react strongly to local irritants and
form a large lump in the gum, called pregnancy tumors or
These occur mainly during second
trimester, they occur between the teeth, bleed easily and
are related to excess plaque formation.
They are not
cancerous, are usually painless and easily removed be the
Pregnant women with periodontal disease are seven
times more likely to have a premature delivery.
Studies have shown that any infection, including periodontal
infection during pregnancy, may lead to a 7 times higher
risk for delivering a preterm, low birth-weight baby.
believed that periodontal disease infection releases toxins
that reach the placenta and disrupt fetal development. The
oral infection also leads to accelerated production of
hormones and a labor-inducing chemical (prostaglandin) that
triggers premature delivery.
It has also been shown that periodontal inflammation may
play a role in developing pre-eclampsia, a potentially
deadly condition that affects approximately 5% of U.S.
You may experience discomfort in your mouth, including
dryness, pain, burning sensations, mouth sores, altered
taste sensation, receding gums and greater sensitivity to
hot and cold foods. These changes are attributed to hormonal
Menopausal gingivo-stomatitis is a condition with
dry or shiny gums, from pale to deep red in color, that
Hormone replacement therapy (Estrogen
supplements) and/or saliva substitutes may help to relieve these symptoms.
Low or decreasing bone mass with increased risk for bone
Periodontal diseases can lead to loss of bone
that supports your teeth, which can lead to tooth loss.
association between osteoporosis and periodontal diseases
has been difficult to prove because of many similar
associated factors like smoking, age, medication and
These habits can put excess force on the supporting
tissues of the teeth and could increase the rate at which
the gum and bone is destroyed.
Chipped fillings or worn-out bridges can accumulate plaque
and make it difficult to brush and floss effectively.
If you have ever had an allergic or unpleasant reaction to
any medication, including dental anesthetics,
please let Dr
Hoffmeyer know of the name of the medication. There are
alternate drugs that can be prescribed in case of allergies
to oral antibiotics or analgesics (pain relievers).
Allergies to Materials
Please notify Dr. Hoffmeyer prior to treatment so we can
provide a comfortable environment for you.
If you are
allergic to Latex she will use Nitrile gloves instead.
If you are sensitive to mercury, mercury-free fillings are
used during surgery.
If you are allergic to Chlorhexidine this item will not be
This is an addictive drug that causes high levels of
neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin)
to stimulate the brain cells and produces euphoria (duration
12 hours vs 1 hour for cocaine).
Side effects are nausea, vomiting, irregular heart beat,
high blood pressure e.t.c.
Side effects regarding oral health are dry mouth, a craving
for high calorie carbonated beverages, grinding and
clenching teeth, bad oral hygiene, tooth decay and