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How Gum Disease Affects Men

Differences in hormones and lifestyles can impact the ways in which gum disease impacts men and women. We previously looked at the different ways women experience gum disease. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the ways gum disease can impact men specifically. 

Periodontal health is crucial for men and women as it can affect many other areas of a person’s overall health. Studies show periodontal disease is higher in men than in women (56.4 percent vs. 38.4 percent). There may be several reasons for this. Men are often less likely to go to the dentist routinely. Additionally, men may have worse indicators of periodontal health than women such as higher incidences of plaque, tartar, and bleeding upon probing. It is essential that men visit the periodontist to ensure their periodontal health as poor periodontal health can impact men’s health in several huge ways.

Prostate Health

Prostate health and periodontal health may be associated. An enzyme called prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is created in the prostate and is normally secreted in small amounts. When the prostate becomes inflamed or infected, PSA levels rise. Studies show PSA is found in higher levels in men with periodontal disease indicators like red, swollen, or tender gums and prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate than with men who suffer from only one of these conditions.

Heart Disease

Studies indicate that cardiovascular disease is associated with periodontal disease. In other words, having periodontal disease may actually increase your risk of heart disease. Both heart disease and periodontal disease are diseases of chronic inflammation. Researches have concluded that likely inflammation is the connection between cardiovascular disease and heart disease. Men are more likely to develop heart disease than women. As a man, it is imperative that you maintain periodontal health as a way of reducing your risk of heart disease.

Cancer

Research has shown that men who have a history of gum disease are 14 percent more likely to develop cancer than men with healthy gums. Men with periodontal disease specifically may be 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers than women.Learn more about periodontal disease and men at the American Academy of Periodontology’s site, the source for the information provided in this blog post.

Treatment of Periodontal Disease (Gum disease)

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It is the leading cause of tooth loss and has associations with systemic health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular (heart) disease. The Center for Disease Control performed a study in 2012 and found that 47.2% or 64.7 million American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis. In adults 75 and older, the rate increases to 70.1%.

The gums and bone are the foundation for the teeth. In periodontal disease, these supporting structures are destroyed, creating space between the teeth, gums and bone. This ultimately leads to pocketing, which houses harmful bacteria. As the bacteria multiply and invade the supporting gums and bone, they further destroy the foundation, making teeth loose, and eventually causing them to have to be extracted.

Types of Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis- initial stage of periodontal disease involving red, swollen, bleeding, gums. It is reversible with treatment; however, if left untreated, can lead to periodontal disease and potentially tooth loss and other health problems.

Periodontitis- Plaque and disease causing bacteria can spread below the gum line and cause the body to be in a chronic state of inflammation. This ultimately causes the destruction of bone and soft tissues, creating space between the gums and teeth, which leads to the formation of infected periodontal pockets. As the disease advances, the pockets become deeper as more gum and bone tissue destructions occurs. This can lead to tooth mobility and potentially even loss.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

  • Plaque and pathogenic bacteria
  • Smoking
  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Grinding teeth
  • Systemic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, etc)

Non-Surgical Treatment of Periodontal Disease

The first approach to treating periodontal disease is via scaling and root planing (also known as a deep cleaning). This involves meticulously cleaning the diseased root surfaces and removing the plaque and disease causing bacteria. Non-surgical therapy is often sufficient to treat periodontal disease; however, it is crucial to maintain strict maintenance therapy (routine 3 month cleanings) in order to maintain health.

Surgical Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Pocket Reduction

The gums and bone are the foundation for the teeth. In periodontal disease, these supporting structures are destroyed, creating space between the teeth, gums and bone. This ultimately leads to pocketing, which houses harmful bacteria. As the bacteria multiply and invade the supporting gums and bone, they further destroy the foundation, making teeth loose, and eventually causing them to have to be extracted.

Deep periodontal pockets are unable to be adequately cleaned by neither the patient nor the dental clinician. If deep pockets remain even after non-surgical therapy (scaling and root planing), surgical therapy is often the next step. Thus, periodontal procedures known as pocket reduction are performed in order to gain access, fold the gum tissues back, clean these deep pockets, remove the disease causing bacteria, create an environment that is amenable to cleaning by the patient and ultimately restore the gum and bone tissues to a state of health. These procedures are performed in order to prevent further damage caused by the disease process and to restore a healthy smile.

Deep pockets are very difficult to clean. Periodontal disease has many connections with the rest of the body and can lead to diabetes and heart disease. Thus, these procedures are necessary not only to maintain a beautiful, healthy smile but also to decrease the risk of serious health issues associated with periodontal disease.

Gingivectomies are procedures performed by the periodontist that involve removing and reshaping excess gum tissues that cause deep pocketing around the teeth. Gum tissue overgrowth can arise due to periodontal disease, genetics, or certain medications. Gingivectomies are usually performed when a patient has gum disease that has not responded well to scaling and root planing (deep periodontal cleaning) or other periodontal therapeutic measures. Deep pockets still remain due to excess gum tissue. Thus, gingivectomies are needed in order to restore a state of health and effectively treat gum disease.

The gums and bone are the foundation for the teeth. In periodontal disease, these supporting structures are destroyed. Procedures known as guided tissue regeneration regrow lost bone and tissue in order to provide support for the teeth and reverse some of the destruction caused by periodontal disease.

Learn More About Our Periodontal Services

To find out how our periodontist, Dr. Lindsey Pikos Rosati, can help you and to schedule your appointment at our Palm Harbor, Trinity, or Spring Hill location, give us a call at 1-800-NEW-LOOK or use the contact form below to reach out to us.
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