Collaboration between Dentists and Physicians Benefits Patients

diabetes and gum disease

Collaboration between Dentists and Physicians Benefits Patients

Over the 5-10 years, there has been growing interest in the link between mouth health and body health.

The link between diabetes (a disease affecting blood sugar) and periodontitis (bone loss around teeth) may be the strongest of all the connections between the mouth and body.

Periodontal disease is a ubiquitous problem; it almost epidemic in our society. Today, a buzz word of health is “inflammation” and there is no more significant body inflammation source than periodontitis. It correlates with heart disease, respiratory problems, atherosclerosis (buildup of fats in arteries), diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis (a disorder causing inflammation in joints). Even pregnancy complications are associated with this inflammatory disease. The bacteria that reside in the mouth also correspond to an increased incidence of pancreatic cancer and neurologic disorders. “P. Gingivalis”, one of the bugs found in the oral cavity, is related to this increased pathology. The good news is gum disease is controllable. Dental therapy is essential because the bacteria in the mouth are not found anywhere else in the body, and the body does not have adequate natural defenses against it.

gingivitis periodontal disease

Dr. Hawryluk Jr. feels the American Association of Oral Systemic Health has brought dentistry, medicine, nursing, and physical therapy together to understand how we all need to work together to control body inflammation. Physicians recognize that dentistry can be a window to the overall health of a patient. Dr. Hawryluk Jr. will communicate with your physician if he feels something may be out of balance. There are signs which show when diabetic patients are off their regimen. For example, a reddish, dry appearance to gum tissue can be a sign. St. Lawrence Dentistry can control gum disease and coordinate any therapy with your physicians. The Academy of General Dentistry has formed a task force with the American Academy of family physicians and the American Association of diabetic educators. The objective is to inform doctors and dentists why and how we need to collaborate more closely together. Forms for communication have been created between physicians and dentists to tell one another about research updates in various disciplines. The more health issues we can resolve though dentistry, the less medical costs our Mississauga health system will incur, and ultimately society will be healthier and better on many levels.

oral systemic health

Early detection of dysplastic tissue (abnormal development of cells within body tissues) leading to oral cancer is another critical area dentists can serve. St Lawrence dentistry focuses on cancer detection. We have a high sensitivity in this area as every family knows someone who has been affected by this disease. Screening is critical. April is oral cancer awareness month, but we focus on this all year long. Dentists must be at the forefront of detecting this insidious disease before it manifests into a more frank lesion. Identifying pathology early on is critical.

oral cancer awareness month

St. Lawrence Dentistry looks for signs of mouth inflammation and addresses them. We will collaborate with your physicians on your behalf if warranted. If you are looking for a new Mississauga Dentist, please give us a call. We would love the opportunity to serve you!

Reference: Comisi – Viva Learning-mouth body connection (2020)

Dr. Allan Hawryluk
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Dr. Allan Hawryluk

Allan Hawryluk Jr. is a Mississauga-based dentist who has built a reputation for comprehensive dental care. Born and raised in Port Credit, he returned after completing his dental residency in 2003 at the University of Colorado, Denver Health Sciences Center. He feels privileged to serve the community and is committed to maintaining our clinic standards set by his late father - Dr. Allan R. Hawryluk (Sr).