Quiz on Periodontal Disease and Overall Health

True SignYou may already know the effects of periodontal disease (AKA gum disease) on your oral health, but how much do you know about the effects of gum disease on your overall body? Test your knowledge on oral-systemic health with this quiz from your Pella dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen.


Q1. True or false: For healthy knees, floss your teeth.
Q2. True or false: Once bacteria is in your bloodstream, it can travel anywhere in your body.
Q3. True or false: Periodontal disease must be advanced before the bacteria affects other areas of the body.
Q4. True or false: Approximately 25% of the American population has gum disease.
Q5. True or false: Once you develop gum disease, there’s not much you can do about it.


Q1. TRUE –  In one research study, scientists found traces of gum bacteria in the knees of arthritis patients. This indicated that the bacteria had moved from the mouth to the synovial fluid surrounding the kneecaps. Researchers then analyzed the DNA of the bacteria to prove that its origin was gum tissue. The presence of bacteria in an already arthritic joint can worsen the condition. Many studies such as this one link periodontal disease with other health conditions.
Q2. TRUE – Periodontitis (severe gum disease) can cause harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream, and from there it can go anywhere in the body. According to researchers, the bacteria appears to be attracted to sites of existing inflammation.
Q3. FALSE – Even in patients without periodontitis, bacteria may migrate to a weakened knee joint. According to researchers’ recommendations, all arthritis patients should be examined for gum disease.
Q4. FALSE – Gum disease is present in approximately 50% of the American population.
Q5. FALSE – A good dental hygiene program can help. Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, floss daily, and use an antibacterial oral rinse. See Dr. Allen twice a year for dental check-ups and cleanings, and take care of dental problems as they arise. Depending on the severity of periodontal disease, scaling and root planing (a deep cleaning) may be recommended to treat periodontal disease.

Visit your Pella Dentist

As a general dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages, and he also offers comprehensive treatment for gum disease. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located in the 50219 area on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.