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Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC March 2015 Newsletter
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Could Your Oral Health Cause COPD?
Recently a number of studies have linked periodontal disease with a multitude of systemic illnesses including respiratory issues like pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). These ongoing studies all point in the direction indicating that periodontal health is a factor in keeping the rest of the body healthy.

The studies imply that respiratory infections may come as a result of the bacteria causing periodontal disease entering the respiratory tract; in fact, one study found that bacteria traveled from the mouth into the lungs, causing infections such as pneumonia. These oral bacteria enter via the lower respiratory tract when you inhale and there they can colonize and cause infections.

Early studies seeking to uncover the suspected connection between COPD, oral health, and periodontal disease have pointed to the fact that chronic infections related to COPD seem to be related to periodontitis.

Currently there is no conclusive evidence stating that periodontal disease is the cause of lung disease or respiratory issues, though the connection seems to be strong. Here, it seems, one might err on the side of caution, as a recent study has shown that healthy patients have better periodontal health, while those with respiratory illnesses have worse periodontal health. With that being said, doesn't it make sense to prevent or eliminate gum disease in your mouth by practicing appropriate oral hygiene; brushing, flossing, and visiting us regularly for cleanings and exams?

The Dangers of Tooth Infection
Did you know that a tooth can become so extremely infected that your tooth ends up full of bacteria, swollen, painful and filled with pus? To be honest, it is not the most incredible feeling in the world, but we stand ready to give you the assistance needed to solve your tooth infection. An abscessed tooth is caused by bacterial infection that has spread to the soft inner core of your tooth (that's the pulp) where the blood vessels, nerves, and soft tissues are located. The pulp runs from root to crown and, when infected, can be very painful. We may prescribe antibiotics in an effort to alleviate the infection while you prepare for a root canal; a process in which the infected pulp is removed and you get to keep your tooth!

Pregnancy & Fetal Development
For those of who may not be aware, Cassie had a beautiful baby girl on Thursday the 19th of February! Both momma and baby are doing great! In honor of Cassie and her newborn and also since I am about 15 weeks pregnant with my first, I thought I would write an article about pregnancy and tooth development in the unborn baby.

As we all know, pregnancy causes a lot of changes in the woman's body and the mouth is no exception. Since the mother's immune response is reduced during those 9 months the amount of bacteria in her mouth can increase, which in turn causes her to be more susceptible to perio infection and cavities. Research has shown that pregnant women with active perio infection have a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight babies. So it is super important for pregnant women to keep up on their regular dental care and to be more diligent with their homecare.

Now for the REALLY interesting stuff! When a woman is just 6 weeks pregnant, her baby's tooth buds have just started to form and they will be completely formed - under the gums - by 10 weeks. Permanent tooth bud formation starts at 20 weeks gestation. Basically, when the baby is the size of grain of rice, its teeth are beginning to form and the tooth buds are completely formed by the time the baby is the size of a date or just over an inch long! How fascinating is that?!

Anyway, those are my fun facts for this month. I hope you all are enjoying these beautiful sunny days and stay tuned for next month's RIVITING fun fact!

- Jocelyn, RDH

Dr. Jake and his Team would love to hear from you! Got a question? We can help!

Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC | www.layerdental.com | 541-734-0970
1485 East McAndrews Rd., Medford, OR 97504



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