Tag Archives: Periodontal Disease

Oral Health, Thermography and Inflammation

The images below are examples of infrared thermograms showing oral infection, a pattern relating to coronary artery disease and muscular inflammation:
This thermographic image shows inflammation in the subject’s gums:
And this shows a woman having her breasts imaged with thermography. You can see the resulting picture on the thermographer’s screen:
See Inflammation for additional thermographic images.
In this short video, Periotherapist and Certified Clinical Thermographer Tammy Kohlschmidt, RDH,CCT,CBP,  explains how infrared thermography is an important diagnostic tool in treating the Oral Systemic Link – the connection between inflammation in the mouth (gum disease and dental issues) and chronic diseases elsewhere in the body.

By combining Thermal Imaging and Periodontal Therapy Tammy has made connections between the mouth and body that address The Oral Systemic Link. Tammy believes the mouth and body share an ecosystem that must be treated as a whole to obtain sustainable health.
Tammy is a founding member of the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health.  She is a member of Dentistry for Diabetics, Centers for Dental Medicine, Thermography Unlimited, and the International Body Talk Association.  She has co-hosted a national radio show on Sustainable Dentistry, she teaches and lectures on thermography and is currently co-hosting the show Sustainable Dentistry – A Better Way with Dr. Reid Winick on Manhattan Cable,  channel 57. 


Tammy has written this informative brochure on the relationship between periodontal disease and breast cancer, other cancers and many other diseases:

See Your Dentist Regularly: Your Health – and Your Life – May Depend on It!

Yes, really! What does periodontal disease have to do with breast cancer? Research is now revealing that your life may depend on your good oral health. The scientific community has now realized a direct link between periodontal disease and nearly all the organs in your body. In October 2010, breast cancer made it on to the list of cancers linked to periodontal disease.

Bleeding, unhealthy gums allow dangerous periodontal bacteria to slip through the broken gum tissue and invade the bloodstream, producing inflammation and disease in other parts of the body. Breast cancer, as well as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, pregnancy complications, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, colon cancer and lung and kidney disease have all been linked to periodontal bacteria. Chronic inflammation causes chronic disease!

 The severity and length of time of your periodontal disease greatly raises your risk of breast cancer. A recent study published in the British medical journal, Open, suggests that poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of early cancer death by as much as 80%.

 Inflammation in the body is associated with nearly all types of cancers, and periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease by nature. Another truly alarming fact is that periodontal disease affects 8 out of 10 adults and it is contagious, easily transmitted from one person to another.

 Most adults will experience some degree of periodontal disease at some point. In fact, if one member of a family is diagnosed with periodontal disease, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends that the entire family be evaluated. By the simple act of eating and drinking after one another, parents infect each other and their children.

Sadly, once you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, unless properly treated, you will always be at risk for recurrence. Healthy gums can become diseased within only 24 – 36 hours of neglect. Unfortunately, many individuals with periodontal disease aren’t even aware that they have it, since it is a silent disease in its early stages.

 Signs that the disease is present include bad breath and painful or bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. Your gums should not bleed, even when you have your teeth professionally cleaned, just as your scalp should not bleed when you brush your hair.

An excellent diagnostic tool is the oral parasite and bacteria test offered at Dentistry for Health, NY. It’s quick, painless and will reveal in just a few minutes whether or not pathogenic periodontal bacteria are present in your mouth and in what volume.

For more information on Dentistry for Health, NY, please visit www.DentistryForHealthNY.com.

If you’re in the New York City area, you may wish to take advantage of this offer of a free Oral Parasite and Bacteria Test.


Tammy Kohlschmidt’s own informative blog, Thermography for Health New York: Early Detection Saves Lives!, can be found at http://thermographyforhealth.wordpress.com/
See also Oral Health and Overall Health for more information on how our oral health affects health elsewhere in the body.


© Copyright 2013-2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Oral Health and Overall Health


Numerous studies have identified three ways oral disease can affect the health elsewhere in the body:
  • Pathological bacteria in periodontal disease can enter the body’s circulatory system through inflamed gums and travel throughout the body. As these bacteria travel, they may cause secondary infections or contribute to a disease process already underway in other tissues and organs.
  • Pathological bacteria in the gums enter the saliva. Each time you inhale, you aspirate bacteria laden water droplets into your lungs, potentially causing pulmonary infections and pneumonia – a serious problem for the elderly and people with generalized weakened immunity. Inflammatory mediators called ‘cytokines’ found in inflamed gums can also enter your saliva. They too get aspirated into the lungs, where they have inflammatory effects on the lower airway, contributing further to pulmonary complications.
  • Inflammation associated with periodontal disease can stimulate a second systemic inflammatory response somewhere else in the body or complicate other disease processes originating from inflammation, such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, orthopedic implant failure and complications of pregnancy. (Oral Systemic Connection, undated)
 A systemic inflammatory response can develop, weakening the entire immune system.

Illustrated by Zach Turner – Medical Illustrator – Blue Motion Studios LLC

Untreated tooth decay and gum disease can interfere with breathing, tasting, eating, swallowing, sleeping, speaking and language development and can contribute to emotional stress as well.  (Hein, 2012)
Pathological bacteria building up on the teeth make the gums prone to infection. The body’s immune system detects the infection and moves to attack it, causing inflammation in the gums. Over time, unless the infection is removed, the inflammation becomes chronic and releases chemicals that eat away at the gums and bone structure holding the teeth in place. Severe gum disease is called periodontitis and has deleterious effects throughout the body.  A recent study found that people with serious gum disease were 40% more likely to have a chronic condition as well. (Barker, 2014)

Oral Health and Diabetes

People with the metabolic disease diabetes have high blood sugar levels, either because the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or because cells don’t respond adequately to the insulin that is produced.  (Wikipedia, 2014)
Insulin is the hormone responsible for converting sugar into energy for the body. Periodontal inflammation in the mouth impairs insulin utilization and produces a two-way relationship in which high blood sugar provides ideal conditions for oral and other infections to grow. Fortunately, this means managing gum disease can help bring diabetes under control – and vice versa.  (Barker, 2014)

Oral Health and Heart Disease

Inflammation in the mouth and heart disease are often found together.  Approximately 91% of people with heart disease also have gum disease, compared to 66% with no heart disease. Inflamed blood vessels also allow less blood to get from the heart to the rest of the body, raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of fatty plaque breaking off a blood vessel’s wall and traveling to the heart of brain, causing a heart attack of stroke. (Barker, 2014)


Oral Health and Fetal Development

Premature and low birth weight infants often have serious health problems, such as lung and heart conditions, learning disorders. Poor oral health may play a role in this – infection and chronic inflammation seem to interfere with fetal development. (Barker, 2014)


Oral Health and Osteoporosis

Periodontitis erodes the jawbone while osteoporosis affects bone mass in the long bones of the body, yet studies have noted that women with osteoporosis have gum disease more often than those who do not.  The thinking is that inflammation triggered by chronic gum inflammation weakens bones in other parts of the body. (Barker, 2014)


Oral Health and Other Conditions

Other mouth-body interactions are also currently under study (Barker, 2014):
  •  Rheumatoid Arthritis: Treating gum disease has also been shown to reduce pain from rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Lung Conditions: Gum disease increase the amount of pathological bacteria in the lungs and may exacerbate pneumonia and chronic-obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Obesity: Studies have found that gum disease progresses more quickly in the presence of higher body fat.

Magnitude of the Problem