California, (PressExposure) March 19, 2009 -- More than 10 years ago, the ADA launched educational efforts to increase awareness about the health risks associated with oral infections. While most people are aware that such infections can cause pain in the gums and mouth, few understand the damage isn't localized to the mouth and can jeopardize their overall health. According to the US FDA more than 75% of adults over the age of 35 suffer from some type of periodontal (gum) disease which can unknowingly put their health at risk. Periodontal disease refers to bacterial infections that damage the supporting structures of the teeth.
In the earliest stage of periodontal disease, patients' gums are prone to swelling and bleeding. As periodontal disease, progresses, the connective gum tissue and bone that hold teeth in place are destroyed, ultimately leading to tooth loss. Many patients believe that periodontal disease only puts their teeth at risk. "When I tell my patients about some of the additional health risks associated with periodontal disease, they are shocked," says Los Angeles periodontist Dr. Alex Farnoosh, "Most of them had no idea they were putting the rest of their body at risk."
Dr. Farnoosh explains to patients that among the risks now being associated with periodontal disease are heart disease, diabetes, cancer, strokes, respiratory problems, and premature birth. The bacteria from oral infections and the plaque build-up on the teeth may also be connected to greater risks of heart disease. Recent studies have also shown periodontal disease is significantly associated with an increased risk of lung, kidney, pancreatic and hematological (blood) cancers. One study of patients who had recently had a stroke found that a large percentage of them also suffered from some type of oral infection at the time of the stroke. For pregnant women certain types of oral bacteria caused by infection are known to stimulate premature labor. Respiratory problems can also increase when the bacteria in the mouth is inhaled into the lungs.
Dental patients also need to be aware of their increased risk for developing periodontal disease if they suffer from other types of chronic illnesses. Diabetes is a leading risk factor, especially when blood sugar is uncontrolled. Unfortunately, periodontal disease also increases blood sugar levels which could lead to a destructive health cycle in the body. Osteoporosis can also be a culprit because of increased bone loss in the jaw which can weaken teeth, cause pain, and lead to tooth loss or compromise the longevity of dental implants.
The word "periodontal" literally means "around the tooth". Periodontists are dentists who have completed additional training to specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes. As a periodontist and Diplomate certified by the American Board of Periodontology, and past professor at the University of Southern California (USC), Dr. Alex Farnoosh has made significant achievements in the field and provides expert care to his patients. He believes the best method for preventing these problems, especially for individuals at high risk of developing periodontal disease, is good oral hygiene and periodic examination by a periodontist. "Some of my patients have said they were afraid of visiting dentists, and I tell them I would be more afraid of what might happen if I didn't visit them," explains Dr. Farnoosh. He recommends that people have regular checkups for signs of periodontal disease, especially if they suspect an infection, are planning on becoming pregnant, or have chronic health problems that increase their risk.
About Dr. Farnoosh
Dr. Alex Farnoosh is a periodontist and cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills who offers a full-range of services including lip lowering for correcting gummy smiles or a high lip line, laser periodontal surgery, gum bleaching to treat discolored gums, minimally-invasive dental implants and other cosmetic dental procedures. He has been in private practice for over 25 years and has been teaching future generations of dentists at the University of Southern California since 1981. Dr. Farnoosh treats patients from all over Los Angeles, and offers fly-in services to patients from around the world. Dr. Farnooshs cosmetic dental 'practice specializes in patient comfort and offers patients various options including nitrous oxide, IV sedation, and oral medications to reduce dental anxiety.
Contact: The Total Smile 8920 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 517 Beverly Hills, CA 90211 310-657-0503 http://www.thetotalsmile.com