Gum Disease and Overall Systemic Health, With Dr. Mark Laska, Mid Wilshire Dental Care, Los Angeles, California
Recent scientific research suggests a strong connection between chronic gum infections, periodontal disease and systemic health. That process is now referred to as the oral-systemic connection, says Dr. Mark Laska, of Mid Wilshire Dental Care in Los Angeles, California.
Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the bones and gums supporting the teeth. The signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include bleeding, sore, swollen gums, loose teeth, gum recession, chronic bad breath, pus around the teeth and pain upon chewing. As periodontal disease progresses, bacterial enzymes break down the gum tissue, allowing bacteria to enter the circulation system and these circulating bacteria initiate a systemic inflammatory response. Such responses include heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, some cancers and low birth weight babies.
Dr. Laska says that gum disease can be both a cause and a sign of systemic disease, as it goes both ways. He believes the role of the dentist is an important one, as they can identify, diagnose and educate patients about the system connection. At his office, they provide a wellness assessment with different tests, including nutritional counseling when indicated.
"I think the dentist's role in the overall system connection will result in improved overall patient health and wellness," Dr. Laska says.
Dr. Mark Laska, who has been the team dentist for the Los Angeles Clippers since 1987, treats his patients at his Mid Wilshire Dental Care practice in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Laska is also a leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV.