Gum disease is unsightly but many people don’t realize that your oral health is directly linked to the rest of your physical health, making it dangerous as well. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease and Alzheimer’s and now researchers believe it is linked to pancreatic cancer as well.
A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health as well as the University of San Juan and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute kept track of more than 50,000 men in the health field between 1986 and 2002. The study showed that those who suffered periodontal disease were more likely to develop pancreatic cancer as well. Researchers believe the risk is as much as 63 percent more for those who have gum disease.
Regularly visiting your dentist can help to stop periodontal disease in its tracks, but you should also watch for symptoms. Typical ones include red or swollen gums, bleeding when brushing or eating hard foods, receding gums, loose teeth, pus or sores, and persistent bad breath.
Many professionals, including Dr. Lindsay Eastman, have taken to using LANAP® as a method of treating periodontal disease. This laser treatment is cleared by the FDA and is usually less painful than other procedures and requires little recovery time. The full-mouth procedure generally takes two visits of two hours each. Patients generally experience a bit of soreness and slight gum discoloration in the first few days after treatment. If you are prescribed splints to stabilize your teeth, wearing them is important to ensure the teeth do not shift. For up to 10 days after treatment, you will not be able to brush or floss, must eat soft foods and cannot smoke.