Risk Factors For Periodontal Disease

1826 Words 8 Pages
Zachary Gray
Professor Mary Downing
English 112
September 15, 2016
Periodontal Disease, Treatment, and Prevention
Americans are living longer and faced with many different diseases that affect all areas of their body. The oral cavity includes the maxillary and mandibular teeth along with the tongue and surrounding gingival tissues and plays a primary role in the first step of the digestive process. With the addition of fluoride to toothpaste and municipal drinking water the incidence of cavities has been dramatically reduced. Also, if young children receive routine dental care, most have sealants placed on their back molars to cut down on the incidence of decay. Periodontal disease, caused by bacterial plaque buildup, is the leading cause
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Studies indicate that older individuals have the highest occurrence of periodontitis; 70% of Americans over age 65 have some degree of gum disease. Lack of good oral hygiene, such as not brushing and flossing on a regular basis encourages bacteria buildup and plaque formation (Ouyang 27). “Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of periodontal disease and the disease increase with the number of cigarettes per day” (Kachlany 44). Stress makes it harder for the body to fight off infection and this is also a factor contributing to periodontal disease. There are over 400 medications that can cause dry mouth. These medications have an antiadrenergic/anticholinergic effect, meaning they block certain body functions that promote secretions from glands. Some common drugs that cause dry mouth are antihypertension, antidepressants, antihistamines, and drugs to treat urinary incontinence. Also, a diet low in essential nutrients can make the body’s immune system not as effective in fighting off infections (“Types of Gum Disease” …show more content…
Longitudinal studies prove that periodontal disease is linked to coronary heart disease. Inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease, and periodontal disease increases the inflammation level throughout the body. The chronic bacterial infection found in periodontal tissues may travel through the bloodstream and increase the risk of acute cardiac disease. The same bacterial pathogens found in severe chronic periodontitis patients were discovered in the atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary vessels. Since coronary heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, periodontist and cardiologist are trying to educate patients about the correlation between the two conditions and control risk factors (Ouyang

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