Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay

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Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay

Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay

Periodontal Disease and Its Implications on Human Health

From the Egyptians of Dayr alBarshā, Egypt, to modern humans, periodontal disease has affected human health in several observable and predictable ways. The link between periodontal disease and health is being investigated at both micro and macro levels by what authors He and Shi describe as “genetic mapping” and by three-dimensional biofilms models, a process used by Professor Georgios Belibasakis of Karolinska Institute at Huddinge, Sweden (2009; Sternudd, 2016). Connections between the two will not only provide valuable insight to periodontal disease, but also diseases of the heart, respiratory system, nervous system, and all other bodily systems.Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay In my paper, I will briefly discuss prevalent risk factors of periodontal disease, explain processes by which the disease is transmitted, examine the signs and symptoms, discuss feasible and practical prevention strategies and treatment options, provide an outlook of the disease on a domestic scale, and establish a connection between periodontal disease and a patient with Alzheimer’s disease.

Risk Factors

Risk factors of disease determine an individual’s susceptibility to disease. Some factors can be modified, abolished, or interchanged, while other factors cannot. As a result, such factors classified into one of two categories: modifiable or non-modifiable.

Modifiable Risk Factors

As defined by authors Van Dyke and Dave (2005), modifiable risk factors are health risks caused by behavioral patterns – likely driven by some form of extrinsic motivation such as peer pressure, praise, or recognition – and/or environmental conditions relative to the patient (pg. 1). Such factors that increase one’s risk for periodontal disease include smoking, diabetes mellitus, the presence of microorganisms that “colonize the mouth”, and various psychological factors (stress or local stigma surrounding oral health) (Van Dyke & Dave). Modifiable risk factors are controllable and oftentimes dictated by one’s disposition. Risks of this type are complex, but with diligent research, medical professionals and researchers can confidently pinpoint specific risk factors that cause the disease.Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

Conversely, non-modifiable risk factors are innate health risks within an individual not caused by extrinsic factors. Genetics, immune response of the host, age, sex, race or ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are among the most common non-modifiable risk factors for patients with periodontal disease (AlJehani, 2014). Despite the nature of genes and the immune response of the host, current research suggests developments in genetic engineering and improved methods of correction for immunocompromised individuals may not only improve the health of patients suffering from periodontal disease, but also patients suffering from heart disease, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, and Huntington’s disease.

Disease Transmission

According to the American Academy of Periodontology (n.d. – a), “periodontal disease is caused by inflammatory reaction to bacteria under the gums”. Transmission and influence of the disease is largely do genetic disorders and the transfer of saliva, oftentimes between family members and/or spouses.

Genetic Disorders

As previously mentioned, genetic mapping is an approach used to distinguish the link between health and disease. Essentially, genetic mapping does exactly what it says, it maps out genes. By using this approach, investigators significantly increase their ability to identify the specific genes involved in disease.Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay In regards to periodontal disease, investigators have mapped out and isolated several gene clusters with the highest potential association to gum disease and have determined polygenic disorders as the most probable cause (Taba, Souza, Mariguela, 2012). As they studied these gene clusters, they found that the Interleukin-1 (IL-1) cluster plays a fundamental role in the development of periodontal disease. Through a delicate process of sorting and further identification, investigators discovered genes IL-1α and IL-1β directly aid in the development of the gum disease (Tarannum & Faizuddin, 2012). Such genes pass from parents to offspring relatively easy and are expressed in the majority of offspring whose parents carry the gene(s).

Transfer of Saliva

In addition to the inheritance of defective genes, the transfer of saliva is another route of transmission for the disease-causing microorganisms. According to Kim, J., Kim, C., and Camargo (2013), despite saliva’s antibacterial properties, it is able to carry specific biomarkers of periodontal disease (pg. 3). This simple finding demonstrates that the microorganisms that directly cause periodontal disease are present in saliva, even if it in minute amounts, and thus can be transmitted. Kissing, sharing personal items (toothbrush, dental tools), and sharing “eating utensils” are common ways saliva is transferred from person to person. Consequently, this is how periodontal disease spreads.

Signs and Symptoms

Commonly referred to as a “silent disease”, periodontal disease is generally unnoticeable throughout the early stages of it pathogenesis. Noticeable effects of the disease often appear late in late, more advanced stages of the disease and as a result, may cause significant health complications.Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay Oral diseases with this distinctive characteristic are dangerous to individuals because they are virtually undetectable as they begin to spread through the mouth and body, infecting the connective tissues and mucous membranes of the mouth, as well as other tissues of the body, the subcutaneous fat of the cheeks, and alveolar bone of the teeth (The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2014). Red, swollen gums, typically accompanied by oral pain and bleeding, is a telltale sign of an oral infection. If this is concurrent with other symptoms – receding gums, pus between teeth, persistent bad breath, and sores in mouth – periodontal disease has likely developed (American Academy of Periodontology, n.d. – b). Key symptoms such as these are indicative of periodontal disease and must be treated with urgency to prevent further damage to the mouth, gums, and teeth.

Prevention Strategies and Treatment

Prevention of periodontal disease refers to the precautions taken to inhibit the development of microorganisms and mineral buildup on the gums and teeth or its recurrence. In addition to basic oral hygiene, primary and secondary prevention strategies are often used to inhibit the spread of microorganism in the mouth, control plague (mineral) buildup, and control risk factors at an individual level. Furthermore, treatment of the disease integrates these levels of prevention into a complete system, which is then carried out by the individual and his or her dentist or periodontist.

Primary Prevention

According to Tonetti et al. (2015), primary prevention of periodontal disease refers to the “disruption of bacterial biofilm… [and inhibiting] the inflammatory process from destroying periodontal attachment” (pg. S6). Aside from daily cleaning, professional mechanical plague removal (PMPR) and local or systemic antibiotics are common primary prevention strategies that inhibit the development of periodontal disease.Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay

Professional mechanical plague removal (PMPR). PMPR is a highly effective method to removal plague from teeth, making it one of the most common preventive strategies used by adults (Tonetti et al.). It incorporates a variety of hand and powered instruments intelligently designed to remove mineral deposits from the surface of teeth. PMPR is typically performed by a dentist through scaling or the polishing of teeth. In a study conducted by Zenthofer, Dieke, R., Dieke, A., Wege, Rammelsberg, & Hassel, (as cited in Tonetti et al., 2015), patients who underwent PMPR treatment experienced lower plague levels, less inflammation, and reduced bleeding (2013). Other studies on this strategy show similar outcomes, further reinforcing its capability to prevent periodontal disease.

Local and systemic antibiotics. Local and systemic antibiotics is another popular method to combat periodontal disease. Disinfecting agents such as chlorhexidine and locally-derived antibiotics “disinfect bacterial reservoirs” in the mouth and minimize biofilm growth. (Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme, 2014). These antibiotics work by inhibiting enzyme activity and protein synthesize of harmful microorganisms and prevent the development of additional microorganisms (Kapoor, Malhotra, Grover, V., & Grover, D. 2012). Despite its advantages, local and systemic antibodies should only be used after or in addition to PMPR, never by itself, as research points to its ineffectiveness as a stand alone therapy.Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay

Secondary Prevention

In comparison to primary prevention, secondary prevention refers to the measures taken to prevent the disease from reoccurring after successful treatment. If a dentist determines his/her patient would benefit from further prevention measures, they will likely suggest the patient undergo periodontal therapy based on the patient’s need, family history, and severity of the disease.

Periodontal therapy. According to Manresa, Sanz-Miralles, Twigg, & Bravo (2018), periodontal therapy “aims to reduce the inflammatory response [of the gums], primarily through eradication of bacterial deposits”, a process similar to PMPR. Many local clinics, such as Pillar Dental in Sioux Falls, SD, offer periodontal therapy to patients because the process eliminates periodontal infection and prevents further alveolar bone loss, significantly reducing the probability of disease reoccurrence (Pillar Dental, n.d.). When used in addition to PMPR, periodontal therapy not only improves oral health, but also the patient’s quality of life Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay

Domestic Outlook

It has been over 300 years since the first description of periodontal disease. From that moment on, the prevalence periodontal disease has been extensively researched, documented, and predicted by epidemiologists worldwide. In regards to the current and predicted prevalence of periodontal disease in the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its major operating component, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is tirelessly working to predict the disease’s prevalence over the next 10 to 15 years.Periodontal Disease Assignment Essay


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