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The Mouth-Body Connection

Many studies have been completed that show associations between your problems in your mouth correlating to problems in the rest of your body and vice versa. According to the Littleton and Aurora periodontists at Periodontal Associates, taking good care of your mouth with oral hygiene and regular professional care is beneficial for your overall health and well-being.

Understanding Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition caused by infection of the gum tissues surrounding teeth. If left uncontrolled, infection penetrates deeper into the space around a tooth, causing inflammation. Inflammation leads to the destruction of bone and ligaments around the teeth. The end result of untreated periodontal disease is tooth loss. Halting the progression of periodontal disease and maintaining excellent standards of oral hygiene will not only reduce the risk of gum disease and bone loss, but also reduce the chances of developing other serious illnesses.

Common Co-Factors Associated With Periodontal Disease

Diabetes
The severity of periodontal disease in the oral cavity can actually increase the amount of sugar that stays within the blood. In people with diabetes, this is a huge problem. A chronic elevation in blood sugar levels irritates blood vessels. Damaged blood vessels do not allow the same passage of nutrients and oxygen required for proper cell and organ function that non damaged vessels do. Without proper nutrient and oxygen delivery to tissues, kidneys, nerve cells, eyes, skin and gum tissues among others become damaged. Additionally, the body’s immune function becomes sluggish and slow which makes the body much more susceptible to infections. If an individual already has periodontal disease the effects are cumulative and destruction of the supporting structures of teeth becomes much more rapid. When poor oral hygiene gets added to the mix the results are disastrous in the mouth.
Heart Disease
A large amount of evidence has been accumulated over the last decade on how gum disease sufferers also have experienced life threatening conditions such as heart disease. Furthermore, the very bacteria that cause gum disease have been found to accumulate on heart tissue. The biggest link that this disease shares with gum disease is a constant state of elevated inflammation. Over time a chronic state of inflammation damages small and large blood vessels. Damage of these blood vessels creates inefficiency in oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues throughout the body. Without proper nutrient and oxygen delivery to heart muscle tissue it becomes damaged which can lead to a heart attack.
Pregnancy Complications
The Aurora and Littleton periodontists at Periodontal Associates believe there is a link between gum disease and pregnancy complications.

During pregnancy a woman will experience many changes in hormones and molecules within the blood. Some of these directly impact the gum tissues in the mouth or can stimulate birthing issues. One such hormone that can become off balance is called prostaglandin. Normally, this hormone is in very low production. At the right times, this hormone becomes elevated to help regulate inflammation and begin the delivery process of a newborn. Unfortunately, when a mother has uncontrolled gum disease, prostaglandin production can increase too early. If this production of prostaglandin becomes too high, early contractions leading to premature birth and a low birth weight is a serious problem that can occur. The bacteria that are found in gum disease actually stimulate your body to produce more prostaglandin at the wrong time.

Respiratory Disease
Oral bacterium linked with gum disease has been shown to possibly cause or worsen respiratory conditions such as emphysema, pneumonia and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).  Oral bacteria can be drawn into the lower respiratory tract during the course of normal inhalation and colonize; causing bacterial infections.  Studies have shown that the repeated infections which characterize COPD may be linked with periodontitis.

In addition to the bacterial risk, inflammation in gum tissue can lead to severe inflammation in the lining of the lungs, which aggravates pneumonia.  Individuals who suffer from chronic or persistent respiratory issues generally have low immunity.  This means that bacteria can readily colonize beneath the gum line unchallenged by the body’s immune system.

Contact Our Denver-Area Periodontists

If you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease and the mouth-body connection, please contact us. We care about your overall health and your smile!

Your Dental Health Starts Here. Request an Appointment.

Or call — 303-755-4500
  • Melissa H.Melissa H.

    Let's be honest here - there is nothing fun about having gum surgery. However, the staff and Dr. Heller were as good as it gets with regard to my treatment....

  • Bridget B.Bridget B.

    Wow, from the moment I walked in I felt welcome. Super nice people and caring. I am a chicken and do not like dentist anything. Doctor Heller explained...

  • Paul BeauchampPaul Beauchamp

    Dr. Dan Thousand and staff were amazing. Having gum grafting done is not a pleasant experience by any means, but I was very impressed with Dan Thousand and his staff through this whole process. Several things Dan Thousand and I discussed really resinated with me, such as how damaging smoking cigarettes is to the tissue inside my mouth, ect. Long story short, I took everything Dan Thousand said to heart and I was able to quit smoking as result of this surgery, and for me this is a very huge accomplishment. Dan and I actually celebrated 46 days of no smoking on my final follow up today. I was very pleased at the results of the surgery as I no longer have any negative areas of gum recession in my mouth. The day of the surgery was a very difficult day due to the pain, but it was very nice to receive a call from their office checking up on me to see how I was doing. The follow up phone call was very comforting. I would highly recommend Dr. Dan Thousand and his staff to anyone who ever needs to have gum grafting done. 😃

  • Sara KluhsmanSara Kluhsman

    Dr. Thousand is pure genius! He fixed a failing implant & placed a new 1 as well. I will never go anywhere else. That man preforms miracles!

  • Karen Pelling LevineKaren Pelling Levine

    Dr. Doug Heller is one of three of the doctors that make up the driving force in my efforts to save my teeth and my overall health. What started out as one broken tooth led to the possibility of my losing all of my teeth to gum disease. Panicked, I reached for a second opinion and found Dr. Heller, along with my regular Dentist & Orthodontist. I am now the proud owner of only 5 implants, as opposed to full upper and lower implants OR full dentures. Though dental procedures are hardly fun, Dr. Heller and his staff have made it a smooth process, from financial to face-changing....I couldn't be happier. 😁 You be the judge. My profile pic, there on the left, is a fine example of their handiwork.
    Double Bonus: Doorbell just rang. Beautiful plant has just arrived to cheer me in my recovery....Thank you, Dr. Heller and your wonderful Staff!

  • Jerome GilmerJerome Gilmer

    I was sent to Dr. Beckman on a referral from my dentist because of a slightly loose tooth. Dr. Beckman evaluated the situation and recommended a gum graft and bite adjustment. It is now six weeks since the procedure, and while the recovery was not painless, it was pretty much exactly as he said it would be. Upon evaluation earlier this week it was clear that the procedure was successful.

    Dr. Beckman and the staff were very nice, supportive and professional and I would highly recommend this practice to anyone needing this kind of help.

  • Tori Horton HamillTori Horton Hamill

    Dr Beckman performed a gum graft. I was nervous, but he explained everything clearly and thoroughly. The staff were very accommodating when I had to reschedule and they keep the schedule flowing on time so I was not sitting and waiting beyond the appointment time. The only downside was having to ask multiple times about the cost and what my calculated out of pocket would be. Would definitely recommend.

  • Ashley SingletaryAshley Singletary

    5 stars! Dr. Beckman and the entire office staff provide superior customer service and care. I recently had a gum graft performed and from the very first meeting I felt at ease. Dr. Beckman took his time explaining the procedure and patiently answered any questions I had. On the day of the procedure they go the extra mile to make sure you are comfortable- they use top of the line medical treatment for an effective procedure and speedy recovery. The team was very supportive and available through the entire process and even calls to check on you post procedure. I highly recommend Dr. Beckman and his team!

  • Doris BinderDoris Binder

    I needed to get some implants and Dr. Heller was recommended. Thankfully, he was absolutely wonderful. I wasn't sure what to expect, but he explained everything that needed be done and the procedure began. Now it's not an over night process, but the weeks after each step was a piece of cake. I am so happy with my implants. I had to have a tooth pulled a few weeks ago, and I don't know how he does it, but I had zero pain, no complications and I needed no pain Meds. The staff is so friendly and I highly recommend them.

  • Kenneth McCallKenneth McCall
  • Jan BernsteinJan Bernstein

    Dr. Beckman and the staff couldn't have been nicer or more professional. I highly recommend the practice to anyone in need of a periodontist.

  • Chelsy LaForceChelsy LaForce

    Dr. Heller and the rest of the team is absolutely amazing. They are super helpful through the entire process and I knew I was in great hands. Thank you so much!

  • Terry Lavitt SeiverTerry Lavitt Seiver
  • Aprille Tripler MooreAprille Tripler Moore

    Dr. Beckman and the entire staff at Periodontal Associates are amazing! Dr. Beckman performed a gum graft procedure on me and to my surprise and relief I felt no pain. Not during the procedure or post op. The entire experience from consult through my last follow up appointment was topnotch.

  • Terry SandahlTerry Sandahl

    I have been a patient of first Dr. Versman and then Dr. Heller for over 20 years. This is an amazing periodontal group! I feel so comfortable having them take care of my needs~and there have been many! Dr. Heller is so easy going and I never feel like whatever he does will fail. They have a great support staff too! All their assistants are competent and friendly, and my hygienist Michelle is the best! Love these guys and wouldn't think of going anywhere else!

  • Holly DeLuise BodineHolly DeLuise Bodine

    I have some complicated dental issues but Dr. Heller and his team have handled them very well, and as painlessly as is possible. Dr. Heller explains things very thoroughly!

  • Scott A MiddlemistScott A Middlemist

    I had a great experience with Dr Helller and his staff. The procedure was fairly quick and painless with a great outcome. I fully recommend him and his office.

  • Connie BuhlkeConnie Buhlke

    Not that I loved going to the Periodontist but if you have to, Dr. Heller and all of the staff in the office are simply the best! I wouldn't trust anyone else with my periodontal needs! Thank you for taking such great care of my mouth! You all are the best! �

  • David HeadDavid Head

    When I recently visited Dr Versman for a dental implant I was very pleased. I had been a client many years ago and remembered that Dr Versman' wonderful care. This time Dr Versman needed to place a new implant and extract one that had gone bad. His care and concern were exemplary. His staff was extremely efficient and all members in the office were always friendly and helpful. I would certainly recommend Dr Versman and his staff to anyone who needs an implant or Periodontal care. Thank you to everyone.

  • Christina StewartChristina Stewart

    I had a complicated tooth situation, with treatment options. My situation and all my options were explained in detail and all my questions answered. I had a debridement, and bone graft by Dr Beckman. He and the entire staff are welcoming, kind, compassionate and gentle. All my questions always answered and excellent communicational around. They called me the day of surgery and the day after to check on me. I am amazed, every single person here is wonderful and caring. And Dr Beckman is fantastic

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