We invite you to leave a review about your experience at our dental practice



Ask Doctor D.
Request an Appointment

Help the Men in Your Life Improve Their Oral Health

by: Dr. David DiGiallorenzo

June 18, 2016

In addition to being the month in which Father’s Day is observed, June is Men’s Health Month.

Although this is a month where the men in your lives may get more attention focused on them, we know of one area where they might prefer you look the other way: Studies show that the fellas aren’t the best at maintaining good oral health regimens.

Many systemic diseases often show early warning signs in the mouth. Numerous systemic diseases also are related to oral health problems. For those reasons, we believe it’s appropriate to do some “real-talk” on this subject during Men’s Health Month.

Surveys and studies from the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Dental Association have found the following trends, according to Delta Dental:

  • Men are less likely than women to seek preventive dental care, often opting instead to wait until a problem arises.
  • Men typically neglect their oral health for years.
  • The average man is less likely to brush after meals (20.5 percent compared with 28.7 percent for women).
  • The average man is less likely to brush twice daily (49 percent compared with 56.8 percent for women).
  • Men are more likely to develop periodontal disease than women. In people ages 30 to 54, the statistic is 34 percent of men compared with 23 percent of women. In people ages 55 to 90, it increases to 56 percent of men compared to 44 percent of women.
  • Men are more likely to develop oral cancer and throat cancer than women.

A healthy mouth promotes overall health. So how do we turn this negative trend around for our husbands, brothers and dads? Instead of (or in addition to) that tie, tool set or tennis racket for Father’s Day this year, perhaps you should schedule a dental appointment for Dad. It starts with a routine exam and X-rays. The diagnostic information gathered during this appointment helps identify whether more serious problems exist that should be addressed. The dentist will discuss a treatment plan for issues that must be addressed.

If there are no problems, Dad will receive a professional teeth cleaning that day. Before he leaves that day, office staff will schedule his next dental cleaning — typically in six-month intervals. Watch to make sure he keeps that next appointment!

A periodontal disease diagnosis could mean that a referral to a periodontist and/or more frequent teeth cleanings will be necessary to keep the disease under control.

If the man is your life fears the dentist, remind him that lots of options are available these days to help relieve anxiety. Also remind him that preventive treatment is painless and less costly than fixing a dental problem. That should give him something to smile about.

Gum Disease Can Undermine Your Fitness Routine

by: Dr. David DiGiallorenzo

May 24, 2016

May is Stroke Awareness Month, and that’s a great time to understand the connection between periodontal disease and stroke risk.

People with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those who don’t have gum disease.

Many professionals will tell you to eat healthy and exercise more to reduce your stroke risk. But did you know that unhealthy gums can undermine the physical activity you’re doing to promote your health?

This year for Stroke Awareness Month, we’re focusing on this relationship between gum disease and exercise benefits.

Research conducted by Sydney University Professor Jorg Eberhard and published in “The International Journal of Cardiology” in 2014 showed severe gum disease could undermine one of the major benefits of sports activities: improving your biological age, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Professor Eberhard told the Herald he wants to put the “mouth back into the health” by showing the links between poor oral health and the rest of our bodies. We couldn’t agree more.

Routine exercise prevents the parts of DNA that are necessary for cell renewal from shortening as much as they do in people who don’t exercise. Sometimes exercise can even reverse that process.

Research discovered that people with healthy gums who also exercised received the life-extending benefits to their DNA, while people who had severe periodontitis did not receive those benefits.

“We continue to be fascinated by all of the research that connects systemic illnesses to gum health,” says Collegeville periodontist Dr. David DiGiallorenzo. “The studies are so numerous, and we talk about these connections so much in our office, that I hope we’re getting the message across that overall health starts in the mouth.”

Health observances such as Stroke Awareness Month give us a timely reason to offer reminders of this connection.

Perhaps it isn’t too far-fetched to believe there will come a day when scientists recommend that people looking to improve their health through diet and exercise schedule an appointment with their periodontist first.

“It makes sense that someone wanting to get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle might begin with their oral health,” Dr. DiGiallorenzo says. “Oral health is connected to diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, premature babies and even depression. Oral health is a root problem for a variety of ailments.”

Learn More

Are you interested in improving your health? Call our office today to schedule a comprehensive exam. We take a whole-body approach to oral health by offering nutritional therapy and smoking cessation assistance, and we even have a wellness center that offers services such as medical detoxification, acupressure and reflexology. We can help you better understand the connection between oral and systemic health and get you on the path to improved overall health.

Celebrate World No Tobacco Day May 31

by: Dr. David DiGiallorenzo

April 26, 2016

Periodontists agree that it would be great if every day were “No Tobacco Day.” Until that day comes, we celebrate health observances that bring attention to the dangers of using tobacco products.

You’ll get your opportunity to celebrate one of these observances with us on May 31, which is World No Tobacco Day.

We offer smoking cessation services in our office because tobacco use is harmful to your periodontal health. Poor periodontal health can lead to more serious systemic ailments, including heart attack, stroke and complications related to diabetes.

Following are some important facts related to gum disease and tobacco use:

  • Smokers are more likely to show “masking” of gum disease until it is too late, because smoking compromises blood supply to the area and prevents the body from fighting periodontal infection. The usual disease signs such as gum bleeding and inflammation may also be diminished in heavy smokers. The absence of warning signs does not mean the disease isn’t progressive. In fact, smokers will undergo accelerated bone loss and deterioration in periodontal health without even knowing.
  • Multiple reputable studies have shown that smokers have deeper periodontal pockets, more bone loss, and more severe gum disease than those who don’t use tobacco products.
  • Smokers are at higher risk of getting gum disease.
  • Smokers are less likely to respond positively to gum treatment. We typically see less pocket reduction after going through complete gum therapy. Tobacco users who undergo gum treatment also tend to experience continual inflammation and bone loss despite best treatment efforts.
  • Smoking causes people to get gum disease sooner than nonsmokers. While adult gum disease typically doesn’t manifest until age 35 to 40 at the earliest, smokers often show bone loss and deep pockets at a much younger age.
  • Smokers who complete active gum disease treatment, either through surgery or LANAP, are more likely to relapse than nonsmokers. Sometimes the disease becomes “refractory,” meaning that even after active treatment, it isn’t well controlled.

Let’s say you have lost a tooth and wish to have a permanent replacement. Studies have shown that smoking decreases the chance of a dental implant integrating into the bone properly by 10 to 15 percent.

Smoking increases the chance of infection during the healing process for all oral surgical procedures. Smoking also has the greatest negative impact on bone grafting and gum grafting procedures.

Here are some unpleasant facts about tobacco, according to the World Health Organization:

  • Half of tobacco users die from tobacco-related illness
  • Tobacco kills about 6 million people annually, with more than 5 million of those being a result of direct tobacco use
  • 600,000 nonsmokers die as a result of secondhand smoke exposure
  • About 80 percent of the 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries.


We know that quitting smoke is tough. A Gallup poll found that 85 percent of smokers say they’ve tried unsuccessfully to quit at least once in their lifetime, and 45 percent reported having tried at least three times.

Please call our office if you would like to learn more about our smoking cessation program, or you would like a periodontal checkup. We look forward to having you join us on May 31 in celebrating World No Tobacco Day. Even one day without using tobacco products is a start.

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

by: Dr. David DiGiallorenzo

March 14, 2016

Oral cancer awareness is relatively low among Americans, but here’s a sobering fact that should make all of us want to be more aware of this disease: one person dies from oral cancer every hour.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. We’re using this health observation to share information you and your family should know about this form of cancer that The Oral Cancer Foundation says more than 48,000 Americans are diagnosed with annually.

About 75 percent of all head and neck cancers begin in the oral cavity. Although it is helpful for everyone to know the risk factors, it is also wise to maintain routine checkups with your periodontist because the dental community is the initial line of defense when it comes to early detection.

We perform screenings at every new patient visit and during comprehensive examinations. We hope that identifying oral cancer in its early stages increases treatment success. Call us for an appointment if you notice any of the following:

  • Lesions of the mouth, especially if they are whitish, red or a combination of those colors. These often are precancerous.
  • Lesions that appear on the gums. This often indicates that cancer exists elsewhere in the body.
  • A sore that won’t heal.
  • If you notice a lesion in your mouth, don’t wait for it to grow larger. See your periodontist for a biopsy and a recommended course of action.
  • A lump or thickening of the skin or lining of your mouth.
  • Difficult or painful swallowing or chewing.
  • Tongue pain.
  • Jaw pain or stiffness.

High risk areas are floor of the mouth, sides of the tongue and under the tongue. This means that these lesions can hide.

The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Ends Results program reports that 30 percent of oral cancers start in the tongue, 17 percent in the lip, and 14 percent in the floor of the mouth. More than 60 percent of oral cancers show up in these high risk areas.

Historically, the bulk of oral cancers—75 percent—are related to alcohol and tobacco use, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation. But those statistics are changing.

“Current research indicates that HPV positive disease is rapidly changing these ratios and age groups,” according to The Oral Cancer Foundation. “Younger nonsmoking patients under the age of 50 are the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population.

HPV infects the epithelial cells of skin and mucosa, such as the mouth interior, throat, tongue and tonsils.

We invite you to visit The Oral Cancer Foundation’s website to learn more about the risk factors. Please call us to schedule an appointment if you would like to learn more about early detection and screening.

Eat Your Way to Healthier Gums

by: Dr. David DiGiallorenzo

February 26, 2016

March is National Nutrition Month, and this annual health observation makes it a great time of year to remind our patients that a healthy diet is good for more than the waistline; it benefits your gumline, too.

Your diet has an effect on oral disease. The right diet can prevent gum disease from developing, and taking certain nutritional supplements can stop it in its tracks, according to the Institute for Optimum Nutrition.

Several nutritional deficiencies are associated with periodontal disease, according to the ION. The best documented is vitamin C. Other deficiencies associated with increased risk of gum disease include vitamins D, A, E and calcium.

People who have low vitamin C levels often are more susceptible to bacterial toxins.

“A low dietary intake of calcium is associated with severe periodontal attachment loss, and prevalence of periodontal disease decreases with high intake of dairy products,” according to RDH Magazine.

Protein, vitamin D or calcium deficiencies may lead to bone resorption around the teeth, as well as the destruction of the periodontal ligaments that anchor your teeth to the jawbones.

“Hippocrates is credited with saying, ‘Let food be thy medicine,’ and that is a prominent approach that we promote in our practice,” says Dr. David DiGiallorenzo.

Dr. DiGiallorenzo works with patients individually to customize an approach designed to address each person’s medical needs according to their health history and periodontal diagnosis. He promotes a nutrient-rich diet centered on fresh, organic foods, foods that are high in calcium, and lean proteins. He also recommends that at least half the grains in your diet be whole grains.

Foods that are high in bioflavonoids, such as blue-black fruits, onions, citrus pith and hawthorn berries help maintain healthy collagen structure, according to the ION. Collagen is present in the periodontal ligaments.

Probiotics are another supplement Dr. DiGiallorenzo often recommends to patients for improved oral health.

Defined by the World Health Organization as “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host,” probiotics also commonly are referred to as “good bacteria.” In addition to being available as a supplement, probiotics are found in yogurt, juices, milks, cheeses and soy products, according o RDH Magazine.

Because periodontal disease is closely connected to inflammation, Dr. DiGiallorenzo also recommends that patients with periodontal disease avoid foods that cause inflammation, such as processed carbohydrates and other foods with high sugar content, which heart disease researchers have suggested lead to chronic inflammation.

It is possible to eat a proper diet that promotes oral and overall health. You can learn more about nutritional therapies offered in our office here.

5 Treatment Approaches to Maintaining Optimum Oral Health

by: Dr. David DiGiallorenzo

January 22, 2016

We educate patients every day on the important role that oral health plays in overall health.

The path we pave for maintaining optimum oral health is unique to each patient’s specific needs. Although the needs differ, treatment and oral care recommendations generally are addressed by at least one of these treatment approaches.

  1. Routine checkups

Preventing dental problems such as tooth decay and periodontal disease is infinitely more efficient than problem-based treatments. Many long-term studies have shown that preventive care is not only more cost-effective but also provides less patient discomfort and pain, as well as greater satisfaction.

Wouldn’t you rather prevent tooth decay than have a cavity filled? If you want to save money and keep your natural teeth as long as possible, routine preventive care by your periodontist and dental hygienist at least every six months is a must.

  1. Targeted Care for Susceptible Patients

Once you have periodontitis, we recommend periodontal checkups and maintenance every three months instead of twice a year, because you have shown susceptibility. This is especially true for aggressive periodontitis where even more rigid, structured maintenance is needed. In cases of treated periodontitis, don’t just treat the disease and never come back for maintenance, because it will flare up. This is another treatment protocol that is backed up by numerous long-term studies. It is a collaborative effort between the patient and the periodontist to maintain healthy gum tissue.

  1. Smoking Cessation

You can add compromised oral health to the long list of problems caused by smoking and smokeless tobacco products. Smoking makes you twice as likely to get gum disease as nonsmokers, because it weakens your body’s immune system and reduces blood flow in the oral cavity. Smokers often have compromised blood flow in the mouth and therefore have trouble fighting off bacterial invasion. Severe gum disease can lead to receding gums and eventual tooth loss.

We care about your health and offer smoking cessation methods in our office. Please ask us if you would like help quitting smoking. The detrimental effect of smoking is systemic and not limited to just the oral cavity.

  1. Home Care

We can’t keep your teeth and gums healthy on our own. Optimum oral health requires a good home care regimen that includes brushing at least twice daily and flossing daily. Electronic toothbrushes have also shown to be more efficient at removing plaque compared to manual toothbrushes.

We also recommend additional home care treatments for some patients, such as coconut oil pulling and probiotics to convert the oral flora from harmful to beneficial bacteria. An emphasis should be placed on maintaining healthy oral bacteria to maintain healthy gum tissue after active treatment of periodontitis.

  1. Nutrition and supplementation 

In addition to oral and systemic probiotics, we also often recommend dietary changes for patients, such as incorporating more organic foods into their diets and reducing their biotoxic exposures (GMO foods, contaminated food and water).

Gum disease is not a disease of only the teeth and supporting structures, it is a whole body infection with significant associated risk factors.

Our treatment philosophy

Our goal each and every day is to provide treatment that exposes our patients to minimal pain and discomfort, and provides maximum therapeutic effect.

We apply this treatment philosophy to all the procedures we do: periodontal treatment, implant therapy and soft tissue grafting. There are already a number of options out there that are minimally invasive for each procedure. However, it is important to understand that the minimally invasive procedures have their limitations and may not always be a possible option. This also applies to getting as much done as you can in one appointment to avoid multiple visits and prolonging the treatment time.

Why treating your gums can improve your glycemic control

by: Dr. David DiGiallorenzo

January 20, 2016

gum disease treatmentWhile we’ve known for some time about the cyclical connection between periodontal disease and diabetes, recent studies have found some encouraging news related to periodontal therapy and glycemic control. Keep reading to learn more about what these researchers found — the results may surprise you.


Pancreatic cancer linked to gum disease, study finds

by: Dr. David DiGiallorenzo

January 11, 2016

pancreatic cancerOur past few blog posts have brought you the latest information regarding periodontal, or gum, disease as it relates to your overall health. (Read about gum disease and low birth weight here, and gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis here.) This information is vital to your health, mainly because gum disease is incredibly easy to prevent with good oral hygiene habits — like brushing for two minutes, twice a day, flossing daily and visiting your dentist for twice annual checkups.

Today we’ve got another fascinating and relevant article to add to the growing research of the toll gum disease takes on your general wellbeing: a recent study in Taiwan suggests that pancreatic cancer can be added to the list of conditions related to gum infections.


Oral Health & Overall Health- A Growing Body of Evidence

by: Dr. David DiGiallorenzo

November 24, 2015

By the 1920s the focal infection theory was prevalent in medicine and dentistry.  It suggested that a local infection primarily of the oral tissues and organ systems would act as centers of interest to disseminate to other regions of the body and cause chronic disease.

By the 1940ss this theory was regarded as a falsity.  Entering the 21st century, we have come to understand dental infections contribute to systemic diseases as a result of the inflammatory process.

As the field of periodontal medicine has evolved, we understand that infection in the oral cavity presents a substantial infectious burden for the entire body by releasing bacterial toxins and inflammatory mediators into the bloodstream.

These infections disrupt the body’s meridian systems. We often say that the oral cavity is a window into your overall health. With this understanding, our primary goal is rendering a person free of oral infections by using an integrative approach blending all elements of Eastern and Western medicine and dentistry.

Nutrition, lasers, stem cells, acupuncture, homeopathy, various detoxification methods and conventional dentistry can be combined to optimize the restoration of form and function. Many conventional paradigms have gone by the wayside.  For instance, it is no longer healthy to save infected, broken down teeth, which act as a chronic inflammation source. These infections drain the body of life source.

We must focus on altering the terrain so disease cannot manifest its symptoms.  We know that lifestyle changes will affect gene expression, and we know that most diseases are a result of lifestyle choices.

Particularly in patients with chronic autoimmune diseases, metabolic disease, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and any other chronic disease, dental infections reduce the energy/immune response needed to focus on the imbalance, and increase inflammatory mediators, which are the source of all disease.

A simple question to ask is why have compounding risk factors present within the system.

We begin in part one discussing the role of periodontal inflammation in the systemic disease model.

About half of American adults have periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, it can range from simple gum inflammation to serious chronic infection that results in loss of supporting bone and tissue around the teeth and jaw over time.

Over the years, many studies have shown that the detrimental effect of periodontitis is not just confined to the oral cavity. In many cases, active and untreated periodontitis may spread to the rest of the body and lead to compromised systemic health.

Periodontitis vs. Cardiovascular and Cerebral Vascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke are major health challenges in the United States, responsible for 30 percent of all deaths. Although myocardial infarction is the result of compromised blood flow to the heart, stroke occurs as a result of impeding blood flow to the brain.

Many studies have investigated the relationship between active periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease and found periodontitis was a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease may share common pathways where the chronic inflammation from periodontal infection predisposes patients to adverse cardiovascular conditions.

In a study published by European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, more than 15,000 patients with heart disease were examined for periodontal health. Researchers found that gum disease indicators such as tooth loss, bone loss and gum bleeding were more common in patients with heart disease. Patients with periodontitis also showed consistently higher blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure. This connection between gum disease and heart disease was also noted in a review published by the American Dental Association in an issue of JADA.

Comparable findings between periodontitis and stroke were also noted. In a study that evaluated periodontal conditions of 300 patients within seven days following a stroke, researchers found that patients who suffered a stroke had more periodontal attachment loss and bone loss compared to healthy persons.

A plausible mechanism suggested that oral microbes have the potential to get into the bloodstream, release toxins and injure blood vessels. This can lead to atherosclerosis and thrombosis by activating the coagulation cascade. As the vascular plaque increases, vessel walls thicken and vascular blockage ensues, which leads to ischemia and potentially deadly cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

Patients with a family history of cardiovascular disease or compromised cardiovascular health should have a periodontal screening and treatment by a periodontist to prevent serious complications. Treatment of any oral infection also must be completed prior to any heart procedure.

Many medications patients take for cardiovascular disease often change the body’s immunology, which contributes to tooth loss and nutritional depletion.

Periodontitis and Preterm, Low Birth Weight Infants

Periodontal diseases are characterized by a wide array of anaerobic bacterial infections of the gum, bone and tooth. It is a destructive, chronically inflammatory disease that destroys the teeth’s supporting tissue. Signs and symptoms include bad breath, bleeding gums, receding gums and shifting teeth. If you are a smoker, your gums will not bleed, because the capillaries become constricted. Eventually you lose your teeth and your health is further compromised.

In 1996, Offenbacher et al. found that the presence of active gum disease in the mother is closely related to preterm, low birth weight infants. The study consisted of 124 pregnant women with and without active gum disease. Researchers found that the presence of periodontitis harbored a statistically significant risk factor for preterm, low birth weight infants.

In another study conducted by Mannem et al. in 2011, 104 pregnant women were divided into two groups: one group with normal term infants; the other with preterm labor. Researchers found that mothers with pre-existing periodontal disease were more likely to have preterm, low birth weight infants compared to mothers with a healthy periodontium.

These studies suggested that periodontitis is not an isolated disease. Since the oral cavity is connected to the rest of body, bacteria in the gums may enter the blood stream and have a detrimental impact on the fetus. Therefore, practicing good oral hygiene and promoting periodontal health should be an important part of pregnancy protocol. Routine periodontal checkups during pregnancy may be essential for the health of the mother and child.

Periodontitis and Respiratory Disease

A link has also been found between gum disease and lung disease. It has been shown that oral bacteria may travel through blood in patients with active gum infection, leading to other systemic conditions. However, these harmful periodontal pathogens may also be inhaled and aspirated into the respiratory systems. Oral bacteria that cause periodontal disease can easily be drawn into the respiratory track. Once these bacteria colonize in the lungs, it can cause pneumonia and exacerbate serious lung conditions. The resulting inflammatory response may also diminish host defense and increase the chances of developing other respiratory diseases.

In an observational study, 100 patients were divided into two groups: 50 patients with obstructive lung disease and 50 patients without lung disease. It was found that patients with lung disease also showed increased prevalence of periodontal infection. Patients with worse periodontal health status were found to be at increased risk of chronic obstructive lung disease.

Another study published by Sharma et al. in 2011 looked at two groups of patients: 100 patients hospitalized for respiratory infection and another 100 patients that were healthy. Again, patients with respiratory illness also suffered from poor periodontal health. This study provides further evidence between the periodontium and systemic health.

Gum Disease and Diabetes

Diabetes is the result of high blood sugar over a prolonged period of time. If left untreated, diabetes often leads to serious complications that are life-threatening. People with diabetes often are more prone to attachment loss and tooth loss. In addition they are more susceptible to periodontal diseases and tooth loss from caries as a result of immune changes.

Many studies have shown that the relationship between diabetes and gum disease goes both ways – active, untreated gum disease might make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control blood sugar.  Severe gum disease can also lead to increased blood sugar, putting people with diabetes at a greater risk of diabetic complications.  Diabetics often suffer more frequent tooth loss patterns as a result of the changing susceptibility.

Role of Epigenetics and Periodontitis

Epigenetics is the principle of cellular and physiological phenotypic trait variations that are caused by environment factors – how environmental changes can affect your genes’ expressions. Furthermore, genes respond to external stimuli of food, toxins, exercise and stress, and respond to that stimuli by suppressing or promoting an increase of enzymes and protein production that dramatically affects wellness.

Periodontitis has been shown to be a multifactorial disease characterized by chronic inflammatory mediators. Although the primary etiology of periodontitis is of bacteria origin, its chronic nature can influence a variety of factors within the human body.  Much of this we are just learning to understand.

These changes have been shown to influence cytokine expression in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease. These changes occur as a result of periodontal inflammation and affect methylation of genes as well as alterations in the chromatin.  It has been found that hypomethylation of the promoter region of IL-8 gene was seen in patients with chronic periodontitis independent of smoking. The same epigenetic changes were also found on the promoter region of COX-2 gene in patients with periodontitis via hypermethylation, leading to changes in the level of cytokines.

In other words, presence of periodontal infections is not just detrimental to your oral and systemic health – periodontitis also has the ability to alter genetic modifications on the DNA level with the potential to influence human immune response.

Periodontitis and Hyper-inflammatory Genotype

Certain individuals may have a hyper-inflammatory genotype, which make them more susceptible to periodontitis and other inflammatory, degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have also found that the presence of specific genes may increase the susceptibility to periodontal infection.

A specific hyper-inflammatory genotype, IL-1, has been closely associated with heightened host response as a result of periodontal infection. In a study conducted by Lang et al., IL-1 gene polymorphism was studied. Patients who are negative for the IL-1 genotype showed less gum inflammation while patients with positive IL-1 genotype showed increased periodontal disease parameters.

In another study, association between IL-6 genotype and periodontitis has also been evaluated. Similar to patients who are positive for IL-1 genotype, patients who are positive for IL-6 genotype also showed increased susceptibility to periodontitis.

Patients with hyper-inflammatory genotype may be more susceptible to periodontal pathogens and therefore showed increased susceptibility to periodontal infection. Although the primary etiology is plaque, the same bacteria does not always cause gum infection in every patient. Some patients may be more susceptible to disease than others due to specific genotypes present. In patients with increased susceptibility to periodontitis, the health of periodontium must be closely monitored.

In conclusion, we must respect the notion that your oral health is not a separate entity from the rest of you.  The problems of the teeth, gums and associated structures are not isolated from the rest of the body.  They are in fact closely correlated. Often, our  medical colleagues have only recently begun to understand this complex relationship.

In our next segment we will discuss treatment philosophies, protocols and options currently available to optimize your oral health.


Ryan T. Demmer, PhD; Moïse Desvarieux, MD, PhD. Periodontal infections and cardiovascular disease. The heart of the matter. JADA, Vol. 137 http://jada.ada.org October 2006.

Vedin O, Hagstro¨m E, Gallup D, et al. Periodontal disease in patients with chronic coronary heart disease: Prevalence and association with cardiovascular risk factors. Eur J Prevent Cardiol 2014.

Blaizot A, Vergnes JN, Nuwwareh S, Amar J, Sixou M. Periodontal diseases and cardiovascular events: Meta-analysis of observational studies. Int Dent J. 2009;59:197–209.

Prasad DhadseDeepti Gattani, and Rohit Mishra. The link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease: How far we have come in last two decades? J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2010 Jul-Sep; 14(3): 148–154.

Armin J. Grau, MD; Heiko Becher, PhD; Christoph M. Ziegler, MD, DDS; Christoph Lichy, MD; Florian Buggle, MD; Claudia Kaiser; Rainer Lutz, MD; Stefan Bültmann, MD; Michael Preusch, Cand Med; Christof E. Dörfer, DDS. Periodontal Disease as a Risk Factor for Ischemic Stroke. 2004; 35: 496-501.

Lang NP1Tonetti MSSuter JSorrell JDuff GWKornman KS. Effect of interleukin-1 gene polymorphisms on gingival inflammation assessed by bleeding on probing in a periodontal maintenance population. J Periodontal Res. 2000 Apr;35(2):102-7.

  1. Nibalia, , , F. D’Aiutoa, N. Donosa, G.S. Griffithsb, M. Parkara, M.S. Tonettic, S.E. Humphriesd, P.M. Bretta. Association between periodontitis and common variants in the promoter of the interleukin-6 gene. Cytokine. Volume 45, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 50–54.


DNA methylation status of the IL8 gene promoter in oral cells of smokers and non-smokers with chronic periodontitis. Oliveira NF, Damm GR, Andia DC, Salmon C, Nociti FH Jr, Line SR, de Souza AP. J Clin Periodontol. 2009 Sep; 36(9):719-25.

Alteration of PTGS2 promoter methylation in chronic periodontitis.

Zhang S, Barros SP, Niculescu MD, Moretti AJ, Preisser JS, Offenbacher S

J Dent Res. 2010 Feb; 89(2):133-7.

Vamsi LavuVettriselvi Venkatesan,1 and Suresh Ranga Rao. The epigenetic paradigm in periodontitis pathogenesis. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2015 Mar-Apr; 19(2): 142–149

Anders M. Lindroth,1 Yoon Jung Park. Epigenetic biomarkers: a step forward for understanding periodontitis. J Periodontal Implant Sci. 2013 Jun; 43(3): 111–120.

Surya J. Prasanna. Causal relationship between periodontitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2011 Oct-Dec; 15(4): 359–365.

Sharma N, Shamsuddin H. Association Between Respiratory Disease in Hospitalized Patients and Periodontal Disease: A Cross-Sectional Study. Journal of Periodontology. 2011;82(8):1155-1160.

American Academy of Periodontology. “Healthy gums, healthy lungs: Maintaining healthy teeth and gums may reduce risk for pneumonia, chronic obstructive pumonary disease.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2011.

Offenbacher S1Katz VFertik GCollins JBoyd DMaynor GMcKaig RBeck J. Periodontal infection as a possible risk factor for preterm low birth weight. J Periodontol. 1996 Oct;67(10 Suppl):1103-13.

Satheesh Mannem and Vijay K. Chava1 The relationship between maternal periodontitis and preterm low birth weight: A case-control study. Contemp Clin Dent. 2011 Apr-Jun; 2(2): 88–93.

Study Says Rheumatoid Arthritis Linked to Gum Disease

by: Dr. David DiGiallorenzo

October 29, 2015

We’ve known something about the connection between rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease for a while now, and a recent Spanish study adds to the growing list of evidence that draws a real link between the two diseases.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects the joints. It can cause pain, swelling or stiffness, or a combination of all three. Symptoms occur as the immune system attacks the body’s tissues, and it affects women more often than men, though anyone can get the disease. Older adults are more likely to suffer from the condition, too. The causes of this debilitating disease still aren’t known — but we do know it’s often accompanied by gum disease.

About the Spanish Study

Conducted in Murcia, Spain, the recent study included 44 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and 41 control subjects. To find out how the arthritic condition might affect or be affected by gum health, both groups received a thorough periodontal examination. The results? Patients from the rheumatoid arthritis group were significantly more likely to have bleeding gums upon probing, as well as more likely to have plaque.

Overall, the study concluded that subjects with rheumatoid arthritis in the study had a 0.13 increased risk for gum disease.

Considering the Study in Dental Practice

Studies like the one performed in Spain help periodontists advise patients on how to best care for their mouths. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, or with a family history of the condition, should take extra care with their teeth in order to prevent gum disease.

Preventing Gum Disease: Some Tips

When it comes to preventing infected gums, there’s one thing everyone should take into consideration: excellent oral hygiene is crucial. Good dental habits go far in guarding against gum disease. Brushing thoroughly for two minutes, at least twice a day, and flossing once a day are both mandatory for good oral health. Adding a fluoridated mouthwash doesn’t hurt, either.

Other things to avoid for healthy teeth and gums include:

  • Tobacco use. Whether it’s cigarettes, smokeless or cigars, tobacco use of any kind greatly increases the risk of gum disease.
  • Poor diet. A balanced diet is necessary for healthy teeth and gums. That means a variety of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy sources should be consumed daily.

When it comes to oral health, it’s not just about the teeth. It’s about a whole-body approach.

Older Posts »

Latest News

June 18th 2016

Help the Men in Your Life Improve Their Oral Health

May 24th 2016

Gum Disease Can Undermine Your Fitness Routine

David DiGiallorenzo, D.M.D.
184 W. Main Street, Suite 200
Collegeville, PA 19426
Collegeville Periodontal Therapy and Dental Implants Phone: (610) 409-6064
Fax: (610) 409-2783
Office Hours:
David DiGiallorenzo, D.M.D.
425 Market Street 2nd Floor Williamsport, PA 17701
Williamsport Periodontal Therapy and Dental Implants Phone: (570) 322-4741
Fax: (570) 322-6110
Office Hours: