Walnut Creek Dentist Dr. Julia Lee

As we are finding out, respiratory infections are flourishing this time of the year including the dreaded COVID-19. The standard advice for the prevention of these sicknesses is to wash your hands and keep your immune system healthy by eating properly and exercising regularly. Washing your hands is definitely one way of keeping the hundreds of different bacteria and viruses from getting into your system. Individuals with lower immune systems are more susceptible to infections. However, a less publicized approach to healthy living and avoiding a respiratory infection is to keep your teeth clean.

Periodontal disease is caused by plaque producing bacteria. The body releases cytokines in order to defend itself against any type of infections such as periodontal infections. These cytokines trigger your body to constantly fight or defend themselves, thus weakening the body’s immune system to fight other infections.

Symptoms of periodontal infection are often not noticeable until the disease is advanced. Some of the symptoms include bad breath that will not go away, red or swollen gums, tender or bleeding gums, loose teeth, or sensitive teeth. A dentist can diagnose the disease in the early stages, prior to individuals realizing that they have it. Studies have shown that 85 percent of the population have some degree of periodontal disease and therefore it is extremely important to get regular dental checkups. Professional cleanings at a dental office are recommended every six months.

The American Academy of Periodontology reported that, “Bacteria that grow in the oral cavity can be aspirated into the lung to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease.” The bacteria that are multiplying in the mouth are not only being used as factories for the viruses but are also being breathed into the susceptible lungs.

Lung conditions are not the only part of your health that is connected to your oral health however. It is just the most pertinent in the time that we are living in due to the attention that is being given to the COVID-19 pandemic. If left unchecked, bacteria in your mouth can affect many different systems in the body. Heart disease, dementia, and diabetic complications have all been linked to poor oral health.

This is why we at Walnut Creek Dentist Dr Julia Lee’s dental office would like for you call us and make your appointment for a dental checkup and cleaning. We are trying our best to be proactive in fighting against these life threatening conditions in the best way that we know how, so please make an appointment now.


Dr Julia Lee and Staff