Dr. Gloria Clarke: Getting the Word Out About Periodontal Disease


Bleeding in the Mouth is One of the Initial Signs

If you washed your hands or feet and your skin began to bleed, you would be alarmed. But people tend to ignore bleeding gums. That’s a mistake, according to Dr. Gloria Clarke, dentist and owner of Greenbriar Dental Care.

Bleeding in the mouth is one of the initial signs of periodontal (gum) disease and should not be ignored. Using the same analogy, if an infection grew on your arm, you’d be horrified. Instead, periodontal disease does its dirty work out of sight: inside your mouth. But it doesn’t stay there.

“The same infection you have in your mouth is now moving through your blood stream,” Dr. Clarke says. “That bacteria is not isolated to that area, it runs through your entire circulatory system and that’s what leads to cardiovascular disease.”

If you’re scared, you should be. The Surgeon General’s report stated that if left untreated, poor oral health is a “silent X-factor promoting the onset of life-threatening diseases which are responsible for the deaths of millions of Americans each year.”

Of course, brushing and flossing regularly is important, but don’t forget the importance of seeing your dentist for a routine cleaning every six months. That’s the period of time it takes for plaque to calcify on your tooth and it’s not removable except by a professional. If not removed, the material accumulates and can lead to periodontal disease.

Dr. Clarke is passionate about getting the message out, warning people not to ignore the problem.

“Periodontal disease is a precursor for cardiovascular disease,” she cautions, “which means if you have periodontal disease you are much more likely to have cardiovascular disease.”

Dr. Gloria Clarke’s office can be reached at (678) 916-3709.

Source: People You Need to Know
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