Most, if not all, of the diseases in the human body ultimately come down to harmful chronic inflammation as the source.
There are two types of inflammation, acute and chronic.
Acute inflammation is very appropriate and is necessary for normal healing to occur in the human body. When the body is injured, inflammation increases blood flow to the injured tissue to deliver nutrients and oxygen to facilitate the healing process. Once the injured area is healed, anti inflammatory cytokines are produced which send a molecular signal to the inflammatory cells to commit “cellular suicide” (apoptosis). The injured area is healed, the acute inflammatory process is shut down naturally and all is fine.
Chronic inflammation is consistent, unrelenting and very harmful to the human body. There is faulty signaling to the immune system resulting in an unorganized inflammatory response. The inflammatory cells become confused and attack healthy organs and tissues. This process is spread to other areas of the body by a group of chemicals known as cytokines. They are the “messengers” of the immune system traveling all over the body activating other immune cells to do further damage. Over time, chronic inflammation can cause significant damage to the body and result in many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, joint damage, neurodegenerative disorders, poor pregnancy outcomes etc. The damage from covid-19 does not actually come from the virus itself but rather the inflammatory “cytokine storm” produced by the immune system in response to the virus. Untreated periodontal disease is one of, if not the most, common source of chronic inflammation in the human body.
LABORATORY TESTS FOR INFLAMMATION
There are multiple readily available lab tests to evaluate presence or absence of inflammation as well as degree of inflammation (hs CRP, sedimentation rate, interleukin 6, ANA. Rheumatoid factor etc). Since chronic inflammation is so prevalent in American society, most labs offer a series of inflammatory tests as an inflammatory panel.
At Britt Perio, we have methods to reduce periodontal inflammation which results in decreased inflammatory burden on the body.