Gum Disease

Gum Disease and Cancer

Gum is an indicator of the overall Health

Gum is considered as the mirror of the systemic diseases existing in the body. Gum reflects the existence of any disease in the body in the form of various features or gum disease. A Dentist can easily catch hold of certain ailments existing in your body just by evaluating the status of your gums. Hence gum is called as an indicator of your overall health.

Mouth Bacteria and the Heart

Some studies have shown that people with gum or periodontal disease are more likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums due to the presence of the inflammatory cells.

Gum Disease and Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection. Elevated blood sugar level increases the risk of developing gum disease. Prevent gum disease by keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Brush and floss after each meal daily. Visit us at least twice a year for dental consultation and a professional teeth cleaning session.

Dry Mouth and Tongue Cause Tooth Decay

Sjögren’s syndrome or a condition with dry mouth is more prone to have oral health problems. The immune system mistakenly attacks tear ducts and salivary glands thus leading to chronically dry eyes and dry mouth (called xerostomia). Saliva helps to protect teeth and gums from bacteria that cause teeth cavities and gum inflammation. Hence a perpetually dry mouth is more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.

Medications That Cause Dry Mouth

Certain medications like Anti-Histamines, Decongestants, Painkillers, and Anti-Depressants can cause dry mouth. Consult us or your doctor to find out if your medication regimen is affecting your oral health and can be done to correct the Oral health.

Stress and Teeth Grinding

Stress, Anxiety and Depression is likely at a higher risk for oral health issues. Stress produces high levels of the hormone, Cortisol which wreaks havoc on the gums and body. People under stress tend to have poor oral care and it is observed that more than 50% of people don’t brush well or floss regularly. Other stress-related habits include smoking, alcohol intake, clenching and grinding teeth (called bruxism) come into existence.

Osteoporosis and Tooth Loss

Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones of the body including your jaw bone become brittle thus resulting in tooth loss. Harmful bacteria from advanced gum disease can break down the jaw bone. Bisphosphonates is the medication of Osteoporosis which may slightly increase the risk of a rare condition called Osteonecrosisin which bone death of the jaw occurs. The only treatment is dental surgery.

Pale Gums and Anaemia

In Anaemia your mouth may be sore and pale and your tongue can become swollen and smooth (glossitis). In anaemia, body doesn’t have enough red blood cells or your red blood cells contain less haemoglobin resulting in less circulation of oxygen in the body. There are various types of anaemia each having a different line of approach.

Eating Disorders Erode Tooth Enamel

Eating disorder like Bulimia is usually first noticed by a dentist. The stomach acid from repeated vomiting or Gastric Regurgitation can severely erode tooth enamel. Purging can trigger swelling in the mouth, throat, and salivary glands as well as cause bad breath. Anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders cause serious nutritional deficiencies affecting the health of your teeth.

Eating Disorders Erode Tooth Enamel

People suffering from HIV or AIDS may develop oral thrush, oral warts, fever blisters, canker sores, and hairy leukoplakia which are white or grey patches on the tongue or the inside of the cheek. This is because of the weak immune system and its diminished ability to fight against infections. Other symptoms observed are dry mouth which increases the risk of tooth decay and can make chewing, eating, swallowing, or talking difficult.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease

As we know Rheumatoid Arthritis is an Auto-immune Disease. People diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are Eight times more likely to develop Gum Disease because of the Gum Inflammation and its by-products. People with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis can face difficulty in brushing and flossing because of damage to their finger joints. The good news is that treating existing gum inflammation and infection can reduce joint pain and inflammation considerably.

Kidney Disease and Tooth Loss due to Gum Disease

Adults without teeth may be more likely to have Chronic Kidney Disease. Researchers are not 100% sure of the exact reason for the link between the two but it is supposed to be as a result of the inflammatory process. If you take care of your teeth you may reduce the chances of suffering from chronic kidney disease.

Pregnancy and Gum Disease

Pregnancy causes Hormonal Fluctuations that result in Gum Disease for the complete period of gestation. If a woman is suffering from gum disease when she is pregnant then she is likely to give birth to a child who is prematurely born or is small in size. Visit us to help you get rid if such problems.

Leukemia and Gum disease

Leukemia is a malignant disease caused by proliferation of White Blood Cells forming tissues in the Bone Marrow. Gum Enlargement can be seen making it difficult to clean teeth while brushing. Hence there is always an inflammatory component enhancing such gum enlargements. Gum may bleed easily especially in Acute Leukemia. The gum tissue may show increased susceptibility to fungal, viral or bacterial infections or aggravation f existing gum disease is likely observed.

Ingestion of Metals and Gum features

When somebody ingests any metal substance like bismuth, lead, mercury, arsenic, phosphorus, chromium, it results in intoxication of that metal. It is usual to see the gum being discoloured depending upon the metal ingested and gastric disturbances. Lead ingestion causes steel grey discolouration of the gums. Bismuth intake discolours gums to bluish-black. Mercury may also cause ulcerations on gums.

It makes sense to take care of your mouth like you do the rest of your body.

Gum Disease and its link to Cancer

i. A study conducted on 64.7 million American adult population estimated the prevalence, severity and extent of periodontitis from 2009 and 2010 found 47% of the population suffered from Periodontitis distributed as

  1. 8.7% with Mild Periodontitis
  2. 30.0% with Moderate Periodontitis
  3. 8.5% with Severe Periodontitis.

ii. Another study was conducted on 48000 American men aged 40 to 75 years found that

  1. Men with a history of periodontal disease have a 14% higher risk of cancer than those who do not have periodontal disease.
  2. Few of other cancers carried a risk of more than 30%.
  3. Men with a history of periodontal disease along with Smoking habit had an increased risk of 36% to develop lung cancer.
  4. Men with a history of periodontal disease showed increased risk of kidney cancer by 49%.
  5. Men with the history of periodontal disease showed increased risk of pancreatic cancer by 54%.
  6. Men with the history of periodontal disease showed increased risk of white blood cell cancer by 30%.
  7. Men with the history of periodontal disease along with smoking habit showed increased risk of blood cancer by 35%.

One reason is that gum disease tends to have increased amount of gum inflammation but the exact link between gum disease and cancer remains unclear. Gum inflammatory cells play a vital role in the development of Oral Cancer as some of them are Carcinogenic.

iii. Yet another study established that risk factor of Pancreatic cancer is gum disease caused by cigarette smoking.

Study on Clinical Attachment Loss due to Gum Disease and Oral Tumours and Precancerous Lesions

One other study evaluated an increased risk of oral cancer with periodontal disease or tooth loss found an increased incidence of oral tumours or precancerous oral lesion in patients with >1.5mm Clinical Attachment Loss.

  1. Smokers had increased risk of oral tumours (OR 4.57)
  2. Smokers had increased risk of precancerous oral lesions (OR 1.55)
  3. Non-smokers had increased risk of oral tumours (OR 1.63)
  4. Non-smokers had increased risk of precancerous oral lesions (OR 1.32)

Further, with increase in each mm of bone loss, beyond 1.5mm, showed significantly increased risk (OR 5.23) of Tongue Cancer in Smokers.

Study on tooth loss due to gum disease and cancer

1. Those who lost 11 or more teeth without replacement showed a significant increase in risk of oral cancer. While those who smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol and had lost 11 or more teeth without replacement showed a significant increase of oral cancer by 95%.

2. A Japanese study found a link between 10 or more teeth loss due to gum disease which were not replaced and Gastric cancer.

3. A number of studies have found an association between the Oesophageal Cancer and missing teeth due to Gum Disease when 6 to 15 teeth are missing in the mouth and are not replaced.

4. Certain investigators have examined a relationship between Lung Cancer and Tooth loss due to periodontal or gum disease in relation to the smoking habit –

  • No chances of increased risk of Lung cancer amongst Non-smokers suffering from periodontal disease.
  • Chances of increased risk of Lung cancer amongst those who quitted Smoking habit and are suffering from periodontal disease.
  • Smokers have highest risk of Lung cancer especially when they are suffering from periodontal disease.

It is observed that the Nitrosamine is the by-product of the Periodontal or Gum disease which is Carcinogenic and has been linked to the cancer of Stomach, Pancreas and Oesophagus. Also, the presence of inflammatory cells like prostaglandins, chemokines, cytokines are the main indicators of such cancers and tumours.
The loss of teeth due to periodontal disease which are not replaced in the mouth does not allow the patient to eat such foods in their diet that eliminates the advantageous effects of such food against cancer risk.
The other factors affecting cancer risk are Socio-economic status, Smoking, Diabetes, Age, Gender, Ethnicity, etc.

Causes or Etiology of Gum Diseasel

Gums cover the bone and surround the neck of the tooth.
Gum disease is the most commonly seen.Gum Disease is an inflammation of the gums that may progress to affect the bone surrounding teeth.It is a SILENT DESTRUCTION of tissues surrounding teeth. Gum disease is commonly referred to as Periodontal disease in which the tissues surrounding the teeth are affected. It is caused by the collection of the excessive bacteria in the mouth along with their by-products.It is due to the deposition of plaque and calculus on teeth. The three stages of gum disease, from least to most severe, are gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.In advanced stage of gum disease, teeth are even lost.

Early detection of Gum Disease

  1. Gum disease is usually painless
  2. Swollen, red, tender and spongy gums
  3. Gums may bleed easily
  4. Gums that have moved away from the teeth
  5. Persistent bad breath
  6. Bad taste in mouth
  7. Loose teeth
  8. Pus surrounding the teeth and gums
  9. Long teeth in appearance

Effects of Gum Disease

1. On Gums

  • Recession of Gum tissue
  • Formation of Gum Pockets
  • Loosening of Gums
  • Bleeding Gums

2. On Teeth

  • Decay on tooth surfaces where calculus is adherent
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Tooth loss

3. On Bone

  • Loss of Bone in its three dimensions (minimal loss to extensive loss) resulting in Bad esthetics
  • Destruction of underlying bone

How to Treat Gum Disease

Gum treatment Procedures includes –

1. Professional Teeth Cleaning or Scaling means to get your teeth clean in a single appointment by us in the dental clinic with advanced Ultrasonic Scaler.

2. Professional Teeth Polishing is a procedure in which we polish the roughened clean surfaces of your teeth.

3. Professional Root Plaining (Deep Cleaning) is a procedure performed only when the need occurs. In this procedure we meticulously clean the root surfaces of your teeth and then condition them with the root conditioner as prescribed by the dental fraternity. This procedure may be a time consuming procedure as it may weaken your teeth if done in haste.

4. Gum Curettage is considered as a pre-surgical procedure in which the inner surface of the gum is cleaned by specially designed hand curettes to remove the gum inflammatory tissue. In this procedure we do not place any incisions or cuts on your gums, hence called as a flapless gum surgery. We are well versed with the fact that this procedure requires a light hand, hand curettes made with precision and considerable time.

5. Gum Surgeries like

  • Gingivectomy is a surgical gum procedure whereby we design the gums usually for cosmetic purpose or to increase the tooth structure to support the dental prosthesis.
  • Gingivoplasty is a surgical gum procedure whereby we design the gums by thinning them only when they look bulky because of the presence of gum inflammatory tissues. It is a cosmetic procedure.
  • Flap surgery is a major gum surgery whereby we design the gums to become healthy and firm around the tooth. We perform this procedure only after Gum curettage as per the recommendations of the Dental Council.

Gum Disease and Other Systemic Disease

A study conducted on 64.7 million American adult population estimated the prevalence, severity and extent of periodontitis from 2009 and 2010 found 47% of the population suffered from Periodontitis distributed as

  1. 8.7% with Mild Periodontitis
  2. 30.0% with Moderate Periodontitis
  3. 8.5% with Severe Periodontitis