Silent Killer

A killer is on the loose!

You are in danger!

This killer is dangerous because it is silent. It can sneak up on you unawares. You will not know it is there because the human eye cannot see it until it has concluded its nefarious work. In most killings, blood is shed, and this murder is no exception. If you see red, you know you have been its victim. If not, you can still be its victim.

If you eat, drink, or breathe, you are at risk.

Who is this silent killer? Let’s investigate.

Crime Scene: Your Mouth

Modus Operandi: Like any criminal, the bad guys work undercover. They hide in order to rob and destroy their host. Their size makes the hiding quite easy. As in almost any theft, the victim will not know he has been robbed until he enters the house and finds destruction of property and valuables missing. And, in some instances, if the thief is still in the house, in other words, has not been caught and arrested, the host can lose his life.

Let’s identify the criminals, shall we? The killers are bacteria that stealthily hide, breed, and spread in the soft tissues of the mouth, creating destruction, in this case minute wounds in the gums that you cannot see. These bacteria, if not arrested, trigger a destructive response called inflammation. We might think of this response as the alarm that lets the homeowner know that the robber has broken in; however, the alarm does nothing to keep the killer from wreaking havoc while still in the house. In your mouth, inflammation may look like red gums, possibly ulcerated gums, and/or bleeding gums.

Danger! Call the police!

Once you see red or bleeding gums, these wily bacteria have already entered your bloodstream and can wreak havoc anywhere in your body, including in organs not in the vicinity of the oral cavity. They, and the inflammatory substances they partner with, can lead to

  • Atherosclerosis, causing heart attack or stroke;
  • Insulin resistance
  • Type 2 diabetes, causing heart and kidney damage, neuropathy (numbness or tingling in the extremities, possibly leading to amputation); retinopathy, possibly leading to blindness; and cataracts.
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s’ Disease
  • Preterm birth
  • Loss of bone, loss of teeth. If bone loss is severe, dentures or implants may not be possible interventions.
  • And more …

Or, more alarmingly, you may not see pink, or red, or ulcerated gums. You may see nothing! … Which is why this killer can be so deadly.

How can you know and be able to institute preventative measures? Good oral care is a must but knowing the level of inflammation in your mouth can help you and your dentist determine treatment urgency. Inflammation in the body causes the liver to secrete a protein called C-Reactive Protein (Crp). Contact us for a Crp test. It is part of our free periodontal assessment.

If you do not heed the warning signals in your mouth, your house could be destroyed and you could lose your most valuable possession – your health.

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