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. David 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 and let him tell you how he treats periodontal and gum disease with a laser rather than a scalpel. Contact us today!

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