(602) 995-5045

Periodontal Disease and Hearing Loss

Periodontal infection can cause hearing lossMany people wouldn’t think to associate periodontal disease with hearing loss. However, gum disease has been proven through numerous studies to have a direct impact on your hearing.

What role does gum disease play in hearing?

The inflammation associated with gingivitis and periodontitis is essentially the body’s way of fighting back against a buildup of bacteria along the gum line. When that bacteria gets into your gums, it causes inflammation, bleeding, serious infection, and tooth loss if left untreated. Gum disease poses other risks, though, aside from losing your teeth and dealing with a serious mouth infection. The bacteria that cause your body to react harshly in your mouth can enter your bloodstream. If they do, they can cause inflammation and narrowing of arteries and blood vessels – including the ones involved in hearing.

To understand this, it helps to know exactly how your hearing works. Your outer ear collects and funnels noise through your ear canal and into your inner ear and ear drum. This is where your sensory organs for hearing (and balance) are located. Once vibration reaches that area of your ears, it stimulates thousands of tiny hairs that transmit the movement to your brain, which in turn interprets the messages as sound.

Those tiny hairs are essential in your hearing, and their health can be affected by the flow of blood through vessels in your inner ear. If those vessels become infected by bacteria caused by your gum disease, those tiny hairs will die. Once dead, there’s no way to replace them. It’s a permanent death, and you’ll be stuck with a degree of hearing loss for the rest of your life. If you leave this hearing loss untreated, it can even progress to dementia and memory loss. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your oral health.

Treatment

For gum disease treatment, come to Dr. Trujillo, your local periodontist in Phoenix, as soon as possible. We can help you get ahead of the game when it comes to fighting periodontitis, and can even help you reverse its damaging effects.

Prevent it before it begins

You can prevent gum disease, and the hearing loss it can cause, by the very simple act of following a regular oral health care schedule. Brushing, flossing, avoiding foods high in acids and sugars, and visiting our office at least twice a year will ensure that you have great oral health.

If you feel that you may have early signs of gum disease, please contact us today so we can help.

Periodontal Disease and Cancer

Periodontal Disease and CancerPeriodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the biggest threats to your oral health. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults, and can cause other serious issues with the bones in your jaw if left untreated. While gum disease is a serious issue, and can have a hugely negatively affect on your life, there’s an even more worrisome problem that arises if you find yourself suffering from gum disease: an increased risk of cancer.

What role does periodontal disease play in cancer?

Gum disease’s most noticeable impact on your life is tooth loss—and tooth loss has been linked to an increased likelihood for cancer. Numerous studies have shown a rise in rates of oral cancer if you have periodontal disease or tooth loss in general. This is one of the many reasons that if you feel you may be suffering from gum disease, you should see Dr. Trujillo, your periodontist in Phoenix, immediately. Treating gum disease as early as possible will reduce the chances of you contracting cancer from any of periodontal disease’s negative effects.

What cancers am I at risk for if I have tooth loss?

Unsurprisingly, oral cancer is the number-one cancer risk associated with tooth loss. While this association makes intuitive sense, it isn’t the only risk. There are also proven links between tooth loss and upper GI and gastric cancers as well. One study performed in Japan showed that there was a two-fold increase in a person’s chance of contracting upper GI and gastric cancers if they were missing 10 or more teeth, compared to people missing fewer than 10 teeth. Strong evidence also exists to link tooth loss to pancreatic cancer. Avoiding tooth loss and periodontal disease produces many benefits to your health apart from the obvious.

How can I prevent tooth loss?

The easiest way to prevent periodontitis is by following the same simple tips every dentist has been giving you for years: brush and floss regularly, and don’t miss your dental checkups. These simple activities prevent the buildup of plaque that spurs gum disease. By performing regular oral care, you’re doing all you possibly can to protect yourself from contracting the cancers associated with tooth loss. If you are exhibiting signs of gum disease, contact the Arizona Periodontal Group today to request an appointment.

Periodontal Disease and Nutrition

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the largest threats to a patient’s oral health—leading to gum recession and tooth loss if it is left untreated. Many patients assume it is solely the result of poor oral hygiene, but there are other factors that play a role into the health of your teeth and gums. One of these factors is nutrition and dieting—you can learn more about how what you eat and drink plays a part in your oral health.

What Role Does Diet Play?

The leading cause of plaque buildup is sugar and other refined carbohydrates on a person’s diet. By consuming these foods, it creates an acidic environment which is the perfect arena for plaque forming bacteria to grow and thrive. Not only that, but sugar consumption also lessens your immune system which makes your oral health more susceptible to periodontal disease as you lack the vitamins needed for healing. Even alcoholic drinks play a role in periodontal disease—causing patients to have an increased risk for as a result of reduced levels of B vitamins, blood clotting inhibition, and bone formation suppression. Alcohol consumption also causes your mouth to be dehydrated leading to the bad bacteria not getting easily washed away by saliva—resulting in faster plaque formation.

Nutritional Treatment

While good oral hygiene and plaque control measures are vital to treating periodontal disease, there are nutritional therapy options as well. First, it is important to nail the basics like eating fresh, natural roods like fruit, beans, seeds, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. High fiber can be good for you as well as it promotes saliva which is vital to protecting your teeth form gum disease. You’ll want to avoid damaged fats, alcohol, salt, and artificial foods if possible as these contribute towards plaque accumulation.

Learn About Nutrition

Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can be one of the leading causes of periodontal disease—making a balanced nutrition crucial to keep your oral health in good condition. If you have any immediate questions about nutrition and the impact it can have on your oral health, feel free to reach out as we would be happy to help you. If you would like to make an appointment, our trained periodontists based in Phoenix can discuss with you your specific nutritional habits and needs to ensure that you’re eating right to keep your mouth happy and healthy.

Periodontal Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

A huge number of medical conditions are associated with old age, periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s disease among them. But age itself is not always the reason these issues develop. Correlations have been found between periodontal disease and AD, which persist when controlling for age and sex. Although the cause is not apparent, the trend itself is clear: those with more serious gum disease are at a greater risk of also having Alzheimer’s.

The effects of Alzheimer’s on your dental health

A fairly obvious explanation is that those with AD are less capable of caring for their teeth. While this may not account for the entire correlation, it does appear to be a factor. People with dementia of any kind are likely to forget oral hygiene, or to do it poorly. Where possible, they should be assisted with tasks of this type.

The effect your dental health may have on Alzheimer’s

While it is less obvious that periodontal disease should be a factor in AD, researchers are beginning to believe that the relationship may go both ways. Several possible mechanisms have been suggested, including the following:

  • Oral bacteria reaching the brain. The bacteria responsible for periodontal disease has been known to spread to other parts of the body, particularly in patients with severe periodontal disease. It is possible that these pathogens might damage the brain, leading to the mental deterioration associated with AD.
  • Increased inflammation. While swelling is a very effective part of the body’s defenses, it can backfire and cause damage to the body. Either the inflammatory agents involved in periodontal disease may affect the brain, or perhaps extended periodontal disease may cause a chronic inflammatory condition that causes swelling in the brain itself.
  • Increased risk of stroke. Stroke itself is not an identified risk factor for AD, but it does have some correlation to the severity of AD symptoms.
  • Weight loss/wasting. Long-term periodontal disease can lead to a significant decrease in body weight, which may have an adverse effect on the brain.

Research to be done

While the correlation between AD and periodontal disease is well established, the cause remains unknown. Research into this problem is currently under way, as well as into Alzheimer’s in general. In the meantime, many other adverse health effects have been associated with periodontal disease. If you are suffering from gum disease, we strongly recommend seeking treatment from your periodontist in Phoenix, the Arizona Periodontal Group.

Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Periodontal disease can impact your oral health, but it can also impact your overall health in a much more significant way. There has been recent research that suggests that periodontal disease can predict the severity and presence of rheumatoid arthritis in a patient. The conclusion of multiple studies so far seem to suggest that the more risk there is for tooth loss, the higher risk there seems to be for rheumatoid arthritis. One of these studies, for example, observed that patients who had moderate to severe periodontal disease were over twice the risk for rheumatoid arthritis in comparison to the patients who had mild to no periodontal disease.

While the cause and effect of the situation hasn’t been proven yet, there are strong indicators that would suggest there is a mouth-to-joint connection here. Researchers that lave looked into the connection between rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease has found that there are similarities between the inflammatory processes of oral tissue and joints. There also may be a genetic link between the two conditions as a genetic type has been identified to be more common in patients who possess both conditions when compared to patients who do not suffer either condition.

Available Treatment Options

  • Take care of your teeth: First and foremost, basic oral health care must be exercised by the patient. This includes proper teeth brushing, mouth rinsing, and flossing at home while also receiving regular dental cleanings and checkups.
  • Seek treatment for periodontal disease: Any outstanding oral health issues like periodontal disease need to be treated in order to nip the issue as soon as possible. Nonsurgical treatment is always preferred; this option would involve removing built up plaque and tartar. In more severe cases, advanced treatments like gum grafts, pocket reduction surgery, and regenerative procedures are ideal.
  • Work with a doctor: A periodontist can help you treat periodontal disease, but if you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, we suggest working close with your doctor to receive proper treatment. This plays an important role in maintain your oral and overall health.

If you’re looking for a Phoenix periodontist to help you with treatment options, look no further than the Arizona Periodontal Group. You can reach out to us with any questions you may have concerning periodontal disease and its link to rheumatoid arthritis along with possible treatment options. Request an appointment at your earliest convenience to begin the treatment process.

Start your day with a beautiful smile.

When you visit our office, your oral health is our top priority. Dr. Trujillo and his entire team is dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve.