Bethesda, Maryland (PRWEB) May 15, 2012 -- Mark Taff, DDS and Brad Levine, DDS, who have practiced in the Bethesda, MD, area for more than 35 years, are raising awareness during American Stroke Month about the connections between gum disease and other life-threatening illnesses associated with bacteria in the mouth.
"A healthy and clean mouth can actually guard against a host of debilitating illnesses. Regular dental check-ups and the daily removal of bacteria that causes inflammation and periodontal disease, reduces the risk of many systemic diseases," say Dr. Levine.
The Surgeon General reports that at least 80% of American adults have gum disease. Bacteria in the mouth at the very least causes cavities, but the same bacteria causes periodontal disease and can travel through one’s bloodstream to other parts of the body causing or complicating systemic illnesses. According to the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), 93% of people with gum disease are at risk for diabetes.
The doctors also note that gum disease increases the risk for head and neck cancer along with an increased risk of premature death by 400% to 700%. Research has found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatic and kidney cancer, as well as the risk of a pregnant mother giving birth to a child with abnormal weight. According to Mayo Clinic, tooth loss and gum disease increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and high blood pressure.
The good news is "all of this risk can be reduced substantially," according to Dr. Taff. "Removing plaque and tartar from one’s teeth with regular brushing twice daily, along with consistent daily use of dental floss will prevent bacteria from finding a permanent home and substantially reduce inflammation."
The American Stroke Association created the month long awareness campaign to assist the public in understanding the risks involved in not having regular dental visits.