Page 7 - May June 2018 Edition
P. 7

Health & Wellness





                                Inflammation and Chronic Disease:

                                Are Teeth the Root of the Problem?



                                     brain or the bones is associated  samples showed bacteria typical
                                     with Alzheimer’s Disease and  for root canal treated teeth and   Kate Thomsen MD, MPH
                                     osteoporosis respectively.    34.7% showed bacteria typical
                                        We are familiar with many  for periodontal disease. Many           IntegratIve and HolIstIc HealtH
                                     of the lifestyle habits listed in  other studies before and after               and Wellness
                                     the Side Bar, but how does our  this one have added to the con-  Most of the leading causes of death in the United States have
                                     lifestyle contribute to pathogen  clusion that heart disease and   been linked with chronic inflammation including: heart
                                     colonization? We understand  oral infections are linked.       disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, kidney
                                     that a typical infectious dis-  Another    study  showed       disease and chronic respiratory conditions.  So how does our
                                     ease causes massive, short term   pathogens typical for root canal   immune system get continually “turned on” (inflammation)?
                                     immune activation and body-   treated teeth were found in      Chronic lifestyle habits that provoke the immune system:
                                     wide symptoms (e.g, chicken  the  majority  of  ruptured brain   •  Smoking
        Dr. Kate Thomsen and Silky   pox and measles). But how do  aneurysms. Fusobacterium (a        •  Alcohol
                                     bacteria, viruses, and the like  common bacteria in periodontal   •  Eating inflammatory foods like sugar, grains, trans fats,
           In medical school we learned  contribute to chronic inflam-  disease) is found in breast tissue   (possibly dairy and nightshades…)
        the definition  of inflammation.  mation? It occurs from an area  of  women  with  cancer  at  more   •  Exposure to toxins (ubiquitous but some people have higher
        It is an appropriate response  of “focal infection” - a localized  elevated levels than in women   exposures than others)
        by the tissues in the body to  high concentration of pathogens  without cancer. Fusobacterium   •  Exposure to pathogens (areas of infectious colonization or
        an unwanted stimuli (injury or  that  does  not  cause  infectious  has also been linked to colon   contamination)
        infection). Think of a splinter,  disease  per  se,  but  “seeds” the  cancer. Periodontal disease has   Physiologic mechanisms that guard against
                                                                                                      chronic inflammation:
        a spider bite, a fractured ankle.  blood with a constant low level of  been associated with esophageal,   •  Normal (not increased) body fat
        Four basic features are char-  unwanted microorganisms – just  head and neck and oral cavity   •  Regular exercise
        acteristic: Dolor (pain), Rubor  enough to keep the immune sys-  cancers. Subjects with periodon-  •  Adequate nutrition and absorption of nutrients
        (redness), Tumor (swelling), and  tem chronically turned on. The  tal disease are at a significantly   •  Adequate sleep
        Calor (heat). This is how it was  gastrointestinal tract (through  increased risk of developing   •  Stress management
        described by the Roman scholar  diverticular disease, chronically  lung cancer. Periodontitis has
        Celsus in the first century AD.  infected appendix, gall blad-  been shown to be contributory                  Office of Dr. Kate Thomsen
        Recently  fluor  (secretions)  has  der, oral cavity…) can harbor  to the onset and progression                  252 West Delaware Ave.
        been added as pus or other fluids  these  focal  infections. In  the  of Alzheimer’s disease. Some                Pennington, NJ 08534
        are often associated. The pro-  oral cavity the primary sources  research also links Parkinson’s                    609-818-9700
        cess starts quickly with damaged  of infection are the teeth, gums,  disease, Multiple Sclerosis and   www.drkatethomsen.Com
        tissues releasing chemicals that  jawbone cavitations, tonsils, and  Huntington’s  disease  to  oral   Additional articles on holistic health topics
        call the immune system. The  sinuses. Poor dental hygiene,  bacteria. Periodontal disease has             can be found on the website
        white blood cells of the innate  stress and clenching, inadequate  been associated with the severity
        immune system go to the source  nutrition, toxins, and medica-  of seizures and is an independent
        of irritation and, over a few days,  tions can result in periodontal  risk factor for the development   can find some degree of CAP in  requires  a  risk/benefit  analy-
        attempt to clean up the situation.  disease (inflammation of the  of depression. Research studies   90% of root canal treated teeth.  sis among the options offered.
        The infection or injury typically  gums from oral pathogens) or  have shown an association of   Some authorities argue that root   There  are  many  considerations
        resolves  or heals  without much  the need for root canal treatment  periodontitis with osteoporosis,   canal treated teeth will always   but some authorities are pre-
        intervention and the inflamma-  (for a painful and technically  diabetes, all kinds of arthritis,   be a source of “focal infection”.   ferring implants to root canals
        tory process ends.           dead tooth). These two common  metabolic syndrome, COPD,   With the pulp removed, root   (though they are more expen-
           Chronic      inflammation  conditions create empty spaces  hypertension, autoimmune con-  canal treated teeth have lost
        involves similar processes but  in the tissues that can become  ditions (lupus), Crohn’s disease   access to the immune system   sive). Use of ozone is the key to
        it goes on for a longer time. In  cesspools of  dead  tissue,  bacte-  and Colitis, chronic kidney dis-  and the nerves, which identify  clearing the pathogens from the
        this situation the immune system  ria, viruses, fungi and mercury.  ease, erectile dysfunction, pros-  infection by eliciting pain. Some  procedure site followed by good
        is continually “turned on”. This  This  becomes the  “focal  infec-  tatitis, preeclampsia and other   argue that a successfully treated,   dental hygiene.
        may be caused by infections that  tion” that seeds the blood with a  pregnancy complications. It is   pain-free root canal is  still  a
        don’t go away, improper immune  constant low level of pathogens.  not known how causative the  source of chronic infection. One   Dr. Kate Thomsen’s office
        cell responses, and other con-  The Surgeon General estimates  oral pathogens might be to these  study showed 100% of 5,000   for holistic health care is
        ditions like obesity and aging.  that 80% of the adult population  conditions. But it is believed  examined root canal treated
        We used to think that athero-  in the United States has some  that, because of the strong asso-  teeth were infected.   located in Pennington, NJ.
        sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease,  form of periodontal disease, and  ciation of oral pathogens to so   The ability for 3D imaging   She is trained in Family
        arthritis, cancer, and osteopo-  the presence of pathogenic oral  many chronic conditions and the  is not available in most dental   Medicine, and Board
        rosis were conditions that were  bacteria that cause it increases  recognition of their role in creat-  practices. (I wonder why it is not
        caused by certain genetic risks.  with age.                ing chronic inflammation, these  available at Radiology Centers?)   Certified in Integrative
        While there are certainly genetic   A study published in Circula-  pathogens at least exacerbate or  You can have 2D or 3D imaging   Medicine, and is an
        links to many diseases, we have  tion (2013) described the asso-  sustain disease states.  as  a screen  for symptomatic or   Institute for Functional
        come to appreciate that chronic  ciation of dental infection and   So you must be ready to  asymptomatic sources of infec-
        inflammation causes the damage  oral bacteria with the develop-  get your teeth checked by now.  tion. You can have some of these   Medicine Certified
        to vulnerable tissues creating the  ment of heart attack. 101 men  This is where it gets dicey. Peri-  markers of inflammation checked   Practitioner. She has been
        set-up for these chronic condi-  having emergency stents placed  odontitis is common and a par-  (hsCRP, fibrinogen, LpPLA2,   practicing Functional
        tions. Too many immune cells  during an acute heart attack  ticularly common but advanced  MPO,  TNF-alpha,  IL-B1,  IL-6,
        continually looking for some-  were studied. Samples of blood  form, chronic apical periodonti-  IL-8) Elevated markers should   Medicine for 20 years. For
        thing to “clean up” creates dam-  from the blood clot causing the  tis (CAP) is often asymptomatic.  drop after  successful  treat-  more information see
        age to the blood vessel walls and  heart attack showed a much  CAP is detected 30 – 50% more  ment and be monitored yearly.   www.drkatethomsen.com
        sets the stage for the fatty plaque  higher amount of bacterial DNA  often when using 3D cone beam  Treatment of symptomatic or
        build-up of atherosclerosis. Too  than was found in the circulating  imaging vs standard 2D pan-  asymptomatically infected teeth   or call the office at
        much “clean up” work in the  blood. 78.2 % of these blood clot  oramic XRays. This 3D imaging  (or sinuses, or tonsils, or jaw…)   609-818-9700.

        Mercer County Woman                                                     7                                                      May/June 2018
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