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As medical research advances, scientists are better able to study the human body’s response to certain materials and chemicals and there is now a plethora of evidence on the damage that chronic inflammation causes, such as aging and disease. Oral chronic inflammation is caused by infection. Infection can occur when the bacterial plaque on teeth travels into the gums, causing inflammation, and then the bacteria becomes stuck under the gums, which then creates pockets as the gums pull away from the teeth, also known as Periodontal disease or gum disease. Infection and Periodontal disease are also caused by dental procedures which leave materials below the gum line (subgingival), thus acting like tartar. Bacteria colonizes tartar on foreign materials and the body’s autoimmune system responds with inflammation, resulting in chronic periodontal disease. Oral chronic inflammation and chronic periodontal disease are major contributors to several serious diseases and medical conditions such as heart disease, arterial disease, diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, birth complications, and cancer. Many restorative dental procedures (crowns, fillings, etc.) are placed with subgingival margins and contribute to chronic periodontal inflammation, which threatens teeth, but more importantly, overall health.

Modern medical research about overall health and wellness has opened many eyes and people are gradually becoming more and more interested in their own health and they want to know what they can do to improve their well-being. As discussed above, improving overall health means more than just eating the right foods and routinely exercising – it also depends on choosing healthy dental procedures and asking your dentist to use biocompatible techniques and materials that will minimize inflammation and negative side effects like root canals. Using biocompatible materials without supra-gingival techniques will not alone be beneficial.

The Academy of Supra-gingival healthy Dentistry promotes Supra-gingival healthy & biocompatible dentistry, which means dentistry compatible with life and health. Although every medical procedure has risks and some side effects, dentists should provide, (and patients should request) the options that are least harmful to the body and that cause the least amount of inflammation in order to both repair the damaged tooth and benefit long-term health and prevent disease.

It should no longer be acceptable for a dentist to perform an outdated treatment, such as placing a traditional dental crown with subgingival margins, without first informing the patient of the negative side effects and negative effects on overall health.

Resources:


    – Khansari N, Shakiba Y, Mahmoudi M. Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress as a major cause of age-related diseases and cancer. Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. 2009 Jan;3(1):73-80.

    – Scannapieco FA1, Bush RB, Paju S. Associations between periodontal disease and risk for atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. A systematic review. Ann Periodontol. 2003 Dec;8(1):38-53.

    – Ali J, Pramod K, Tahir MA, Ansari SH. Autoimmune responses in periodontal diseases. Autoimmun Rev. 2011 May;10(7):426-31.

    – Hansson GK. Inflammation, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 21;352(16):1685-95.

    – Ohshima H, Bartsch H. Chronic infections and inflammatory processes as cancer risk factors: possible role of nitric oxide in carcinogenesis. Mutat Res. 1994 Mar 1;305(2):253-64.