Opinion article from Dr. Manuel Pinto de Almeida

Read Dr. Manuel Pinto de Almeida’s opinion article published in the newspaper “Jornal de Notícias”:

“Currently oral health is an important problem of public health. Good oral health is associated to the general well-being. Therefore, the preventive cares adopted shall be daily.

Patients with periodontal disease, according to experimental and clinical epidemiological studies, present a higher risk of suffering an acute myocardial infarction in comparison with the remainders, who present good oral health. In addition, periodontitis may also cause over time halitosis, esthetic damage, dental mobility and loss of the dental pieces. Even though this is a usual “silent” disease, it presents clinical signs that may be easily detected by a professional. Therefore, the importance of the regular visits to the dentist.

Recent studies indicate that there is also an association between periodontal disease and Alzheimer. The bacteria responsible for oral inflammation may get installed in other organs systemically, even in the brain causing neuron destruction leading to memory loss and dementia.

Oral hygiene may also be associated with other health problems, such as heart attacks and stroke. A conducted study has proven that “brushing your teeth regularly reduces the risk of heart attacks and cerebrovascular accident”. According to investigators, brushing your teeth twice a day prevents 700 types of bacteria to enter the blood stream. These same bacteria are harmful to our organism, hardening the arteries and causing, therefore, these problems.

The gum’s health is also very important during pregnancy. With the several hormone dysregulations, gums may bleed and hurt more than usual. Therefore, good oral health is very important in this phase. Recent studies associate gum disease to pre-term deliveries and to the birth of babies with low weight.

Also in type II diabetes patients there has been found a relation with oral health.
These present a bigger tendency for gum diseases (gingivitis and periodontitis), since the blood sugar levels are generally higher than usual, providing the ideal environment for bacteria proliferation and consequently for the inflammation to continue. However, some studies show that this is a two-way relation, this is, the patients who treat gingival disease improve the general level of inflammation of the organism, which contributes to better control the levels of glycemia”.

Source: Jornal de Notícias

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