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The Mouth is the Mirror to Overall Health Posted by BeautyCare.com
The Mouth is the Mirror to Overall Health
CHICAGO, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Oral health is often a good indicator of
what is happening in the rest of the body. Therefore, a visit to a
periodontist may benefit more than an older person's gums.
According to a recent on-line poll about patients over age 60 conducted by
the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), periodontists often refer their
patients to medical doctors for serious health problems. Of the 173
periodontists polled, 78 percent said they have referred patients to medical
doctors to evaluate for diabetes, 66 percent have referred patients for a
cardiovascular disease evaluation and 21 percent for osteoporosis based on
their exam of the patient. One respondent wrote in that if he notices a skin
lesion on the face or neck he notes it and encourages the patient to see a
dermatologist for a skin evaluation.
"It is good to see that so many periodontists are referring their patients
to physicians when patients exhibit conditions consistent with diabetes or
cardiovascular disease," said Jack Caton, D.D.S., M.S., president of the AAP.
Periodontists report more than half of older patients do not understand
taking certain medications may affect the health of their mouth. For example,
many medications, including diuretics, may reduce salivary flow. Dry mouth
can cause increased plaque buildup, which increases the risk for periodontal
disease. In addition, some calcium channel blockers may cause the gums to
grow over the teeth. "I recommend older patients take a list of medications
they are taking with them to their periodontists," said Caton.
The majority of periodontists reported that most of their older patients
believe they can keep their natural teeth for a lifetime. They also said
their older patients are concerned with the aesthetic look of their smile.
However, their older patients are less likely than younger patients are to
have cosmetic periodontal surgery.
A referral to a periodontist or free brochures titled "Ask Your
Periodontist About Periodontal Disease & Heart Disease," "Something To Smile
About" or "Diabetes and Gum Disease" are available by calling 1-800-FLOSS-EM,
or visit the AAP's Web site at http://www.perio.org .
The American Academy of Periodontology is a 7,000-member association of
dental professionals specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment
of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth and in
the placement and maintenance of dental implants. Periodontics is one of nine
dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.
SOURCE The American Academy of Periodontology
/NOTE TO EDITORS: Full survey results and a graphic depicting results are
available at http://www.perio.org in the For the Media Section./
/CONTACT: Amy Duff of American Academy Of Periodontology, 312-573-3246/
Web Site: /http://www.perio.org/
CO: The American Academy of Periodontology
-- NYFNSD02 --
9398 08/15/2000 05:07 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
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