Philadelphia dentist explains studies in dentistry that link gum disease to other health conditions
What are the primary components of an excellent oral hygiene regimen? Chances are the dentist will tell you, “brushing, flossing, and biannual dental check-ups.” This may sound simple, but these habits can ensure overall health and wellness for a lifetime. Beyond avoiding tooth decay and gum disease, you can prevent serious health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease and pancreatic cancer. Well-known dentist in Philadelphia, Dr. David Spilkia, is happy to explain the findings in dentistry.
Linking gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease
In 2010, researchers from New York University concluded there was a connection between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease. They came to this conclusion after reviewing 20 years of data from 152 people enrolled in the Glostrup Aging Study. This study looked at psychological, medical, and oral health in Danish men and women from 1964-1984. By the end of the study, all of the people were over age 70. The study found that gum disease at age 70 was associated with low scores of cognitive function on a digit symbol test. Participants in the study were nine times more likely to have a score in the lower range of the test if they had inflammation of the gums.
The connection between cancer and oral health
In 2007, Harvard School of Public Health researchers were the first to report strong evidence regarding a link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer. An advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis affects the tissue that supports the teeth and causes bone loss. The study linked pancreatic cancer to this type of gum inflammation. Researchers found that men with a history of gum disease had a 64 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer compared to men who never had gum disease. Tooth loss also increased the risk for pancreatic cancer. The study did not find any links between pancreatic cancer and other oral health conditions such as tooth decay.
Dr. Spilkia and the team at David Spilkia Family and Cosmetic Dentistry remain on top of the latest advancements in dental research and technology and are happy to share this critical information with patients. We are advocates of patient education and believe the more you know, the higher the likelihood you can prevent oral as well other health conditions.