The link between periodontal disease and systemic disease has been clarified, and we are still uncovering new relationships that confirm he importance of maintaining periodontal health. For example inadequately controlled moderate to severe periodontal disease increases the systemic inflammatory load on our bodies. This increased inflammatory load may increase our risk of cardiovascular disease. It has been shown that patient’s who are diagnosed with periodontal disease in their early adult years have a four-fold risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. There has also been a positive link confirmed between periodontal disease and obesity, as well as the known link with Diabetes. Active period therapy decreases the amount of systemic inflammatory cytokines, which are directly related to insulin resistance and stabilizing blood sugar in diabetic patients. This is important information that we can share with our patients, to help them understand the whole body value of a healthy periodontium.
Research has shown that the pathogenesis of periodontal disease includes oxidative tissue damage. At the cellular level we know that there is an increase in the amount of reactive oxygen species as a feature of active periodontal disease. These reactive oxygen species and our bodies’ decreased ability to manage them lead to oxidative stress and ultimately tissue damage. Multiple studies have shown a reduced quantity of anti-oxidants in the gingival crevicular fluid and gingival tissues in patients with active periodontal disease. Additionally perio patients have been shown to have lower antioxidant levels in their saliva. The amount of reactive oxygen species is decreased as a consequence of traditional non-surgical therapy for periodontal disease. Therefore not only is the causative agent reduced but also our bodies ability to heal and repair is increased. In addition to periodontal disease, this link has been shown with radiation induced Xerostomia, oral Lichen Planus, adhesion and fibrosis in the temporormandibular joint, and tissue damage from oral tobacco use. Additionally the quantity of reactive oxygen species present in the cells is also increased by environmental factors that include bleaching agents, dental cements, dental composite and dental implants.
Dr Julian Holmes says
There is a whole raft of research from the medical profession that as dentists, we have ignored, or just been unaware of. I would like to add to this discussion that ozone and ozone-treated oils have a part to play in the treatment of gum and periodontal disease. The published research can be found on various sites on the www, and new papers looking at ozone treatment for Lichen Planus and why it should be used both in the dental office and at home in routine dental care can be found on http://www.the-o-zone.cc. Later this year a new association will be launched to encourage the use of ozone in routine health care. The research and use in dental and medical practices is over 200 years old. I look forward to sharing this information with both patients and the profession. Dr Julian Holmes.
Jeff Lineberry says
Attached is a link to a recent article in the Journal of Periodontology that talks about the use of antioxidants and dietary supplements to support in the treatment and management of periodontal disease in our patients. Thanks for a great point of discussion.
Lee Ann Brady says
Thanks Jeff, great article!