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Is Your Oral Health a Window to Your Overall Health? Part 2

Hello, again and we welcome our faithful followers as well as new readers back to our blog site!.  As you may already be aware, we desire to educate our patients and readers in all manner of health concerns, with an emphasis being given to those pertaining to oral health, gum disease, and system diseases, and the relationship between these conditions. Our Dr. Scharf enjoys helping our followers understand how gum disease and systemic diseases are linked, emphasizing prevention and treatment where and when available, and to do so in a manner which is easily understood by our audiences and patients.  It is in this vein that we recently began a new blog series on oral and overall health and how one reveals the other. So, without further ado, let’s begin our next segment of this discussion.

Our Goal

As stated in our last segment, our goal for this blog series is to help you understand how untreated gum disease, and the deeper damage it can cause, affects your overall general health in a dangerous way.  Today, we will discuss the basics about how oral health and overall general health are connected since knowledge can always help you develop ways of protection.

The Bacterial Connection

Bacteria live everywhere in our bodies; some of them are good while others are not.  The purpose of the human immune system is to control those good and not-so-good bugs, in an attempt to prevent diseases.  Where do these bacteria come from, you may ask? Well, most of them utilize the human entry port that we call our mouths, enabling them to have access to all parts of the body, especially the respiratory and digestive systems.  Once in those areas, those bad bacteria can go to work causing damage.

Normal Defense Mechanisms

Normally, the body’s immune system is designed to attack and “take out” the harmful bacteria before they can wreak their havoc.  Good oral hygiene that includes daily brushing and flossing also works with the immune system to keep bacterial growth better controlled.  However, when good oral hygiene is lacking, the environment in the mouth becomes a virtual incubator, allowing bacterial growth to increase which can lead to infections, tooth decay as well as gum disease.

Another of the body’s defense mechanisms is the saliva that is produced by glands in your oral cavity.  This saliva is designed to wash food and beverage residue away and cleanse the oral tissues of the acids produced by the bacteria. When the saliva production is reduced, which can also occur as a result of taking some medications (like decongestants, antihistamines, pain killers, antidepressants and diuretics), the oral environment becomes ripe with opportunities for those tiny microbes to increase — building the perfect scenario for the development of a variety of diseases. 

Next time, we will begin to discuss some of the health issues which can stem from bacterial overgrowth in your mouth.  Until then, we want to stress the importance of becoming established with a dental professional who can help you build and maintain a good oral health regimen.  Dr. Scharf wants to be your Periodontist on Long Island, and in that role, he’ll be able to identify and treat any stage of gum disease in any member of your family.  Call him at (631) 661-6633 or visit him online. He wants to tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser rather than a scalpel.

Is Your Oral Health a Window to Your Overall Health? Part 1

Welcome back to our blog site, faithful followers as well as new readers.  If you have any history reading posts on this blog site, then you are well aware that we desire to educate our patients and readers in all manner of health concerns, especially those which pertain to oral health, gum disease, and system diseases, and the relationship between these conditions. It is Dr. Scharf’s goal to help our followers understand how gum disease and system diseases are connected, emphasizing prevention and treatment where and when available, and to do so in a manner which is easily understood by our audiences and patients.  

New blog series

Last week, we completed a six-part article series on peptic ulcers and gum disease, pointing out that chronic inflammation, such as that found in gum disease development, is a root cause of many systemic diseases. Today, we are beginning a new series of blog posts designed to bridge from the peptic ulcer topic to your overall health.  Its purpose is to help you understand how untreated gum disease, and the damage it causes, is connected to many chronic and serious health conditions which are running rampant in our world today. We invite you to join us as we begin this important discussion.

Why is oral health important?

Ok, we’re looking for a show of hands here — how many of you know that there are clues in your mouth that guide your dental professional to health concerns outside of your mouth? Or, how many of you have ever stopped to consider that problems occurring in your mouth can have an effect elsewhere in your body? If you responded negatively to either of these questions, please don’t feel bad or isolated because there are probably thousands, if not millions, of people all over the globe who are uninformed, perhaps even not caring to take the time to educate themselves.  Making the connection between oral health and system disease is the “why” behind this blog series, and we hope you will join us in the weeks ahead to learn a bit more about how your body works and the results of some of the choices we make as we walk these Earthly streets.

Our goal

This first segment serves as the introduction to this vital new series, giving you a roadmap of subtopics that we plan to discuss over the next several weeks.  We will begin our discussion next week with the connection between oral health and overall health, and, over time, we will cover conditions that are linked to your oral health, conditions which can have an effect on your oral health, and how you can protect your oral health.  Please join us and learn the “how” and the “why” of some pretty serious health maladies. Until then, we encourage you to get established with a dental professional who can identify and treat gum disease in any stage of development, in any member of your family. Dr. Scharf wants to be your Periodontist on Long Island and, in that role, he can manage the oral health of your family.  Call him at (631) 661-6633 or pay him a visit online and he’ll be happy to tell you how he treats gum disease and periodontal disease with a laser rather than a scalpel.

 

Peptic Ulcers and Gum Disease: Can You See a Connection? Part 6

Greetings to our many returning readers as well as those tuning in for the first time! We’re so happy that you’re joining us again for the next segment of our current article series on peptic ulcers.  For those of you who have been following this blog, you know that we are an organization who has established a reputation for enjoying and educating our readers on a variety of dental and medical conditions, especially those conditions which apply to the overall general health of our patients and readers.  Our loyal followers also know that our Dr. Scharf is a Periodontist on Long Island who enjoys informing not only his patients but also his blog followers, in the many health conditions which affect both our physical overall health as well as our general dental health. This article series has been dedicated to peptic ulcers, their symptoms, causes, and complications. We invite you to join us as we talk more about gum disease and peptic ulcers.

Prevention

Our previous segments have discussed what peptic ulcers are, what symptoms one might experience, some of the most common causes, some of the factors which increase the risk of developing them and the complications which befall one who has peptic ulcers which remain untreated.  The next logical topic surrounding peptic ulcers is how to prevent their development and progression. Here are some suggestions for preventing ulcers in general as well as those pesky peptic ones we’ve been discussing:

Home remedies  

There are a variety of wholesome, natural ways to keep your gut more healthy, but be sure to discuss these with your medical professional to be sure they’re right for you.  Without going wild and crazy with some seemingly “off the wall” suggestions, we’ll keep it pretty simple. Here are some suggested home remedies which could help keep your digestive system more healthy, keep the bacterial balance in check and aid in the avoidance of ulcers in general:

  • Probiotics and yogurts
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits and veggies which are colorful
  • Licorice
  • Honey
  • Garlic
  • Cranberry

These are just a few of the suggestions you’ll find if you search for home remedies for ulcers online. These are the most common among those we found, and accordingly, perhaps the most likely choices for you.

Protect from infections

Protecting the bacterial balance in your digestive system is very important.  It is the balancing of those good and bad bacteria which allows your body to protect itself from the ever-increasing risks of infection in the manner designed by the Creator. The most common infection is the H-pylori bacterial infection and, though science is not totally sure how it is passed from person to person, they do have some indications that it spreads not only from person to person but also from food and water.  To decrease your risks of infection, be sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water as well as avoiding foods which have not been completely cooked.

Use pain relievers carefully

As discussed in previous segments, prescribed as well as over-the-counter pain relievers add an additional level of risk of peptic ulcer development to your regimen.  Taking your medications with a meal, avoiding alcohol and using the lowest dose possible to relieve your discomfort are some suggestions in this arena. Again, your medical professional is the best place to get your safest recommendations.

Avoiding or treating oral inflammation is another important way to prevent peptic ulcers.  Inflammation leads to many systemic health problems as well as the root cause (pun intended) for gum and periodontal disease.  Dr. Scharf wants to be your Periodontist on Long Island and, in that role, he can identify and treat gum disease in any stage in any member of your family.  Call him at (631) 661-6633 or pay him a visit at https://drscharf.com.  He’ll be happy to tell you how he treats gum disease with a laser rather than a scalpel.

 

Peptic Ulcers and Gum Disease: Can You See a Connection? Part 5

Greetings! We’re so happy that you’re joining us again for the next segment of our current article series on peptic ulcers.  As you may already be aware, we have established a reputation for educating our readers on a variety of dental and medical conditions. We are especially interested in those conditions which apply to the overall general health of our patients and readers.  Dr. Scharf is a Periodontist on Long Island who enjoys informing not only his patients but also his blog followers, in the many health conditions which affect both our physical overall health as well as our general dental health. As we have been discussing the various causes of peptic ulcers, let us now pick up where we left off last time, discussing yet another part of the topic of peptic ulcers…the complications of ulcer if left untreated.  We invite you to join us as we talk more about gum disease and peptic ulcers.

Recent discussions

If you have been following this article series, then you are already aware of the fact that we have been discussing what peptic ulcers are, how they begin, what causes them to develop and what risk factors and lifestyle activities enhance or increase their development.  We’ve talked about various medications, both prescription as well as over-the-counter types, lifestyle habits like smoking and alcohol consumption and chronic inflammation in the body, all of which influence the birth and progression of this digestive malady we call peptic ulcers.  

The complications

Today, we would like to address the complications which exist if these ulcers remain untreated.  Here are the three major issues which can result from the lack of treatment of peptic ulcers:

 

  • Internal bleeding.  Since the ulcer begins with a break in the eroded lining of the stomach, it is important to note that the lining and, eventually, the walls of the various parts of the digestive system can also become compromised.  As the walls of the blood vessels in the digestive system continue to erode, blood can escape into the stomach. This blood flow can begin slowly, leading to anemia. Or, it can present as severe blood loss, requiring hospitalization or blood transfusion.  Severe amounts of blood loss result in black or bloody stools or black or bloody vomit.

 

  • Infection.  The walls of your stomach and small intestines can be eroded or eaten through by the ulcer.  These breaks in the walls of the stomach and intestines are called perforations and they allow digestive contents to ooze into the abdominal cavity, putting you at extreme risk of developing peritonitis, a serious infection in the abdominal cavity.

 

 

  • Obstruction.  Obstructions occur when peptic ulcers block the digestive pathway for your food. Some of the symptoms commonly noted in this scenario are getting a full feeling quickly, vomiting or weight loss.  These symptoms are caused by swelling or inflammation or scarring.

 

As you can see, peptic ulcers are NOT your friend and should be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.  Oral inflammation ranks highly in the hierarchy of those causative factors and is one which is easily identified, treated and controlled.  Dr. Scharf wants to be your Periodontist on Long Island and, in that role, he can identify and treat gum disease in any stage in your whole family.  Call him at (631) 661-6633 or visit him on the web at https://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he treats periodontal and gum disease with a laser rather than a scalpel.

 

Peptic Ulcers and Gum Disease: Can You See a Connection? Part 4

Greetings, to all of my recent and returning readers!  In keeping with our reputation for educating our readers on a variety of dental and medical conditions, especially as those conditions apply to the overall general health of our patients and readers, we are continuing with another installment of this most recent article series on peptic ulcers.  As you may already know, Dr. Scharf is a Periodontist in Long Island and loves informing not only his patients but also his blog followers, in the many health conditions which affect both our physical overall health as well as our general dental health. We have been discussing the various causes of peptic ulcers, and today, we are picking up where we left off last time, discussing another common cause of peptic ulcers…so join us as we talk more about gum disease and peptic ulcers.

A Brief Review

As you know, in our past segments, we have discussed several over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, other NSAIDs and aspirin which are drugs which irritate the lining of the intestinal system, creating a break in that lining which introduces the perfect environment for the development of peptic ulcers.  We also talked about several medications which, when taken along with NSAIDs, can dramatically increase the risk of peptic ulcer development. As you may recall, those drugs were:

  • Steroids
  • Anti-coagulants
  • Low-dose aspirin
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Alendronate (a.k.a. Fosamax)
  • Risedronate (a.k.a. Actonel)

Non-Medication Causes

As promised in our last installment, today, we are going to spend a little time on some of the non-medication causes (risk factors) that are pretty much lifestyle choices. As we proceed with this portion of our series, it is important to point out that, while these choices don’t necessarily cause the ulcers, they certainly create an environment which can enable them to worsen when they develop, not to mention making them much more challenging for your physician and your body to heal.  Here are some of the most common major non-medical risk factors for the development of peptic ulcers:

 

  • Do you smoke? Smoking is an increased risk factor for those who are infected with the H. pylori bacteria.
  • Do you drink alcohol? Consumption of alcohol is another way in which the mucous lining of your stomach can become irritated and eroded.  This lifestyle choice also increases the production of stomach acid.
  • Do you suffer from untreated stress? This life situation can take many forms — ranging from personal, employment, marital, and familial to environmental — and causes your body to engage in the uncontrolled inflammatory process which was intended to heal but, when left untreated, invades every tissue and organ in the body.  This stress, left unchecked, begins to irritate the mucous lining of the stomach, the blood vessels, and eventually every organ in the human body.
  • Do you eat spicy foods? While spicy foods don’t cause peptic ulcers, they introduce spices which can “add fuel to the fire” of the inflammatory process, adding to an already less than desirable intestinal condition.

 

Sometimes, the stress doesn’t have to create the inflammation, but rather it can simply exacerbate what is already brewing; i.e. the inflammation which begins in your mouth when oral hygiene isn’t up to par (a.k.a. gum or periodontal disease).  Hence, the reason we continually encourage our readers to get established with a good dental professional who can identify and treat gum disease effectively. Dr. Scharf wants to be your Periodontist in Long Island and, in that role, he can care for the oral health of your entire family.  Call him at (631)661-6633 or pay him a visit online at https://drscharf.com so he can tell you how he treats gum and periodontal disease with a laser rather than a scalpel.

Peptic Ulcers and Gum Disease: Can You See a Connection? Part 3

Hello, again, to all of our faithful followers and new readers of our blog! If you are a frequent follower of this blog, then you are aware that we have developed this site with a reputation for educating our readers on a variety of dental and medical conditions, especially as they apply to the overall general health of our patients and readers.  Our Dr. Scharf, a Periodontist in Long Island, is a doctor who enjoys informing not only his patients but also his blog followers, in the many health conditions which affect both our physical overall health as well as our general dental health. Over the past couple of segments of this article series, we have been discussing the various causes of peptic ulcers, and today, we are picking up where we left off last time, discussing another common cause of peptic ulcers…so come along with us as we talk more about gum disease and peptic ulcers.

NSAIDs

Last time, we talked about some over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and aspirin (a.k.a. Motrin IB, Aleve, Anaprox, etc) that are commonly used for relief from pain relating to inflammation.  We also noted that many older adults are at higher risk of developing peptic ulcers since this age group suffers from arthritis and osteoarthritis and the inflammation that is generally associated with these conditions. These medications irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines which causes even more inflammation which leads to the birth of the ulcer.

Other Medications

While NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) are considered a cause for the development of peptic ulcers, they are not the only medication-related causative factors with which we must deal.  There are some other medications, taken for other health conditions, which, when taken with these NSAIDs, increase the risk of developing these types of ulcers a great deal. Here are some of those other medications:

  • Steroids
  • Anti-coagulants
  • Low-dose aspirin
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Alendronate (a.k.a. Fosamax)
  • Risedronate (a.k.a. Actonel)

Next time, we will discuss the non-medication factors of peptic ulcer development.  While these don’t necessarily “cause” the ulcers, they certainly create an atmosphere inside your digestive system which wreaks havoc with your body’s natural healing abilities.  In the meantime, be sure to give Dr. Scharf a call at (631)661-6633 or pay him a visit online at https://drscharf.com.  He wants to be your Periodontist in Long Island and awaits the opportunity to tell you how he can treat gum and periodontal disease with a laser rather than a scalpel.

Peptic Ulcers and Gum Disease: Can You See a Connection? Part 2

Welcome back! We are so grateful to all of our faithful followers who continue to read our blog and to those of you who are joining for perhaps the first time.  As some of you already know, this blog site has a reputation for educating our readers on a variety of dental and medical conditions, especially as they apply to the overall general health of our readers.  Our Dr. Scharf, a Periodontist in Long Island, loves to inform not only his patients but also his blog followers, in how the many biological systems in our bodies work together and depend upon each other for our best health.  Today, we are picking up where we left off last time, discussing another common cause of peptic ulcers…so come along with us as we talk more about gum disease and peptic ulcers.

Inflammation

In these busy times, many people suffer from myriad stressors, ranging from job responsibilities to child rearing to marriage and friendly relationships and health issues … and the seemingly endless list of stressors goes on and on.  All of these stressors, whether independently or combined, can wreak havoc on the functional efficiency of any of the systems which keep the human body running smoothly. How this interference with the normal functioning of any particular system or group of them occurs begins with the development of inflammation.  Unfortunately, avoiding some inflammation is physically impossible because it is part of the body’s immune system, designed to protect and heal when and where needed — think of it as the body’s first aid kit, white blood cells being dispatched to any and all parts of the body in which a foreign substance has been detected or where an injury has occurred. These cells do their repair job and then move on to the next weak spot.  

Certain pain medications

So, as you can see, inflammation of and by itself is not a bad thing.  It becomes a problem when this healing process becomes chronic and keeps growing where it isn’t performing its designed function, impeding the normal operation of any system.  Health conditions like coronary artery disease, arthritis, gum disease, and kidney problems are just a few of the resulting maladies which beset the human body when inflammation rages out of control.  Modern medicine and pharmacology have utilized some amazing technology to develop new medical procedures and medications to help fight this ongoing conflagration called chronic inflammation. Unfortunately, some of the medications developed for this purpose, as well as some formulated to treat those aforementioned maladies which spin off from chronic inflammation, can cause or exacerbate the very demon they’re trying to control.

What are those medications?

The medications to which we refer are found on both sides of the pharmacy counter — prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.  When it comes to OTC medications, it is important to remember that they have been formulated not only of natural ingredients but also contain chemical ones.  Common remedies like aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, etc.), naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, and others), and ketoprofen are considered non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and have the ability to irritate the stomach and intestinal lining, causing the inflammation which is so damaging.  This list does not include Tylenol (Acetaminophen). Also, it is important to note that peptic ulcers are more commonly found in older adults because they use many of these medications for the treatment of osteoarthritis and the inflammatory symptoms associated with it.

NSAIDs are not the only substances which increase the risks of developing peptic ulcers and, next time, we will talk about a few more of them.  In the meantime, we urge you to get established with a dental professional who can identify and treat gum disease in your entire family. Dr. Scharf wants to be your Periodontist in Long Island, and in the role, he can identify and treat gum or periodontal disease in any stage of development in any member of your family.  Call him at (631)661-6633 or visit him online at https://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.

 

Peptic Ulcers and Gum Disease: Can You See a Connection? Part 1

Hello to all of our faithful followers and to those of you who are joining for perhaps the first time.  This blog site has a reputation for educating our readers on virtually anything dental, especially as it applies to the overall general health of our readers.  Dr. Scharf is a Periodontist in Long Island who loves to involve not only his patients but also his blog followers, in how the many biological systems in our bodies work together and depend upon each other for our best health.  A few months ago, we began a topic in an article series on peptic ulcers, part of a more extensive series discussing gum disease and gastrointestinal disease, explicitly showing how they are related. We published two segments on peptic ulcers but, due to some unforeseen issues, could not finish.  Thus, today, we are picking up where we left off…so come along with us as we talk more about gum disease and peptic ulcers.

A Brief Review

In past segments, as well as previous article series, we have talked about inflammation and some of the nightmares it causes in our mouths.  We have related to you the fact that this inflammation begins with bacteria feeding off residues left behind in your mouth from inadequate or infrequent cleanings, toothbrushing, and flossing. Good oral hygiene goes a long way toward hindering the development of this inflammation.

Sores or abrasions that develop in the lining of the stomach or upper part of the small intestine are called peptic ulcers.  The most commonly noted symptom of peptic ulcers are stomach pain, and this is true whether it is a gastric ulcer (occurring on the inside of the stomach) or duodenal (occurring in the upper section of the small intestine).  Here are some of the other symptoms you might notice if you have one of these types of ulcers:
A burning feeling of pain in the stomach

  • Feeling like you’re bloated, full, or belching
  • Problems eating fatty foods
  • The burning sensation in your throat that we call “heartburn.”
  • Feelings of nausea which are sometimes transient

Contrary to popular belief,  spicy foods and stress are NOT the root cause of these digestive maladies.  While it is quite true that these activities can certainly exacerbate the symptoms, they simply are not the cause.  

Normal Biology

In our last segment, we talked briefly about the environment in which the causative factors function.  From our last segment…”The digestive system operates using stomach acids to break down and digest what you eat and drink.  The various parts of the digestive system are designed with a mucous lining that is intended to protect the lining of those parts from the strong acids needed for digestion.  A peptic ulcer forms when the stomach acid erodes the inner surfaces of the stomach and small intestine. Normally, the mucus layer protects those inner surfaces from damage, that is, unless something else is interfering with the harmony between the stomach acid and the mucus layer. When that sensitive balance is upset, it is generally caused by an increased amount of stomach acid in the system or a decrease in the mucus layer…”

A Bacterium

Today, we will talk about one of the causes — a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H-pylori).  This bacterium lives in the lining of the stomach, those protective mucous layers that were talked about in previous segments.  H-pylori can live in that mucous layer without causing any problems at all, but sometimes it rears its ugly head and causes inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach, enter the aforementioned ulcer.  While modern medicine isn’t sure just exactly how this infection is spread from person to person, they suspect that kissing and other forms of close contact, as well as food and water, could cause the spread of this infection.  This particular bacterial infection is treatable with a “triple antibiotic” regimen which will be discussed in a later segment.

Next time, we’ll talk about another cause which may surprise you.  In the meantime, we would like to remind you that good oral hygiene and regular checkups are essential to a healthy mouth.  Dr. Scharf wants to be your Periodontist on Long Island and, in that role, he can identify and treat gum disease in any stage of development in any member of your family.  Call him at (631)661-6633 or visit him on the web at https://drscharf.com, and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser rather than a scalpel

 

Gum Disease and Gastrointestinal Ulcers: Are They Related? Part 4

Greetings to our returning readers and newcomers to this blog site!  As always, we like to introduce new readers to Dr. Scharf. For those “seasoned” readers, you already know that our Dr. Scharf is a Periodontist in Long Island, and he loves to engage his readers and patients in discussions on various health conditions which concern all of us, especially when health issues about overall general health, related to dental health, oral health, and gum disease, are the topic at hand.  We recently began a new article series on gum disease and gastrointestinal ulcers, and how they are related.  In our last segment, we discussed peptic ulcers and some of the symptoms you might notice if you’re afflicted with this condition.  Today, we’d like to continue on that topic, discussing the causes of them to clear up the misconceptions about those causes. Won’t you join us as we continue to explore this topic?

Brief review

Last time, we explained that peptic stomach ulcers are sores that develop on the lining of the upper part of the small intestine and the lining of the stomach. We also pointed out that the most common symptom is stomach pain, but many people also experience “heartburn”, bloating, belching and transient feelings of nausea.  

A common misconception

One of the most common misconceptions about peptic ulcers is that they are caused by stress and the consumption of spicy foods.  While these conditions can certainly exacerbate the symptoms, gastro-intestinal evidence reveals that they are not causative factors.  There are several known culprits in this popular mystery, and we will talk briefly about each of them in the coming weeks, but first, let’s talk a bit about why they happen.

Normal biology

The digestive system operates using stomach acids to break down and digest what you eat and drink.  The various parts of the digestive system are designed with a mucous lining that is intended to protect the lining of those parts from the strong acids needed for digestion.  A peptic ulcer forms when the stomach acid erodes the inner surfaces of the stomach and small intestine. Normally, the mucus layer protects those inner surfaces from damage, that is, unless something else is interfering with the harmony between the stomach acid and the mucus layer. When that sensitive balance is upset, it is generally caused by an increased amount of stomach acid in the system or a decrease in the mucus layer.  

There are several reasons for the disruption of the interaction of these biological substances, and next time, we will talk about them.  In the meantime, we urge you to call Dr. Scharf and meet his staff. He wants to be your Periodontist in Long Island and wants to identify and treat gum disease in any of its various stages of development in every member of your family.  Call him at (631)661-6633 or visit him online at https://drscharf.com so he can tell you how he treats gum disease with a laser rather than a scalpel.

Gum Disease and Gastrointestinal Ulcers: Are They Related? Part 3

Hello again! We welcome returning readers and newcomers!  For new readers to this site, we would like to introduce you to Dr. Scharf.  Our Dr. Scharf is a Periodontist in Long Island who loves to engage his readers and patients in discussions on various health conditions which concern all of us, especially when health issues about overall general health, related to dental health, oral health, and gum disease, are the topic at hand.  We recently began a new article series on gum disease and gastrointestinal ulcers, and how they are related.  Come along with us as we continue to explore this topic, with today’s segment discussing peptic stomach ulcers.

Inflammation

In past segments, as well as previous article series, we have talked about inflammation and some of the nightmares it causes in our mouths.  We have related to you the fact that this inflammation begins with bacteria feeding off residues left behind in your mouth from inadequate or infrequent cleanings, toothbrushing, and flossing.  We have emphasized the importance of good oral hygiene in every member of the family, to prevent the inflammation, resulting from less than desirable oral health, from getting into the bloodstream and traveling everywhere and anywhere in the body.

Peptic Stomach Ulcers

Sores or abrasions that develop in the lining of the stomach or upper part of the small intestine are called peptic ulcers.  The most commonly noted symptom of peptic ulcers are stomach pain, and this is true whether it is a gastric ulcer (occurring on the inside of the stomach) or duodenal (occurring in the upper section of the small intestine).  Here are some of the other symptoms you might notice if you have one of these types of ulcers:
A burning feeling of pain in the stomach

  • Feeling like you’re bloated, full, or belching
  • Problems eating fatty foods
  • The burning sensation in your throat that we call “heartburn”
  • Feelings of nausea which are sometimes transient

While most people will tell you that stress and spicy foods are the cause of this sickness, your takeaway is that these do not create a peptic ulcer.  They will exacerbate the symptoms mentioned above, to be sure, but they aren’t the reason for the ulcer.

In our next segment, we will talk a bit more about these symptoms and the role that stomach acid plays in them.  Until then, we encourage you to seek to establish with a dental professional who can help. Dr. Scharf wants to be your Periodontist in Long Island, and in that role, he can identify and treat gum disease in any of its stages in any member of your family.  Call him at (631)661-6633 or pay him a visit online at https://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.