During this overall time of uncertainty, there’s a way you can try to stay healthier, one that you may not have attributed to the coronavirus and other health issues—keeping up with everyday dental maintenance to help avoid gum disease.
More and more studies show the relationship between our gum health and other “systemic” (throughout the body) diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, pregnancy-related complications, kidney disease and even more. Individuals with moderate-to- advanced gum disease (periodontal disease) may be at greater risk for these other diseases than individuals with healthy gums. It’s believed that bacteria from gum disease enter the body through the blood stream, causing inflammation and damage.
At the Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics, we use the Miller-McEntire Periodontal Prognosis Index (MMPPI Index) as a periodontal “report card” of sorts to provide a “score” to let us know the likelihood of a patient losing teeth due to gum disease. As “physicians of the mouth” Drs. Levine and Fava feel the index helps motivate patients to become more active participants in the goal of achieving long-term gum, and therefore, systemic, health. Our goal is to eradicate and control gum disease for those patients with gum disease, and to help educate others on why and how they need to keep their teeth and gums (and therefore body) healthy.