HEART DISEASE AND PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Oral health holds clues to your overall health, and can provide warning signs for other diseases or conditions. Many systemic diseases including heart disease have oral symptoms.
Research suggests that there are links between heart disease and periodontal disease. Both diseases have several things in common. One is inflammation, which narrows coronary arteries and breaks down the tissues that hold teeth in place. P
eople with moderate or advanced gum (periodontal) disease are more likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums.
When the body fights infections, inflammatory mediators can escape into the blood and travel to distant sites. Infection from periodontal disease pumps a continuous flow of bacteria into the bloodstream. Bacteria also produce toxins that can trigger inflammatory responses. Cytokines and bacterial toxins can stimulate the white cells in atherosclerotic plaques, prompting plaque growth or rupture.
These bacterial pathogens or inflammatory chemicals and toxins can be carried by the blood from the mouth to the heart increase the risk for developing heart disease. Researchers report that older adults who have higher proportions of four periodontal-disease-causing bacteria inhabiting their mouths also tend to have thicker carotid arteries, a strong predictor of stroke and heart attack.
Proactive prevention to stop gum disease at the source is key. By examining for any signs of oral pain, infection or inflammation, we can detect early signs of gum disease. The best way to be proactive in maintaining your oral and overall health is scheduling regular dental checkups, cleanings, regular brushing and flossing.
* Periodontitis is very common, and is widely regarded as the second most common dental disease worldwide, after dental decay, and in the United States has a prevalence of 30-50% of the population, but only about 10% have severe forms.
Time and time again we see patients who have neglected their oral care, only to discover they now have issues that could have been prevented with regular dental visits.
Warning signs that you may have gum disease include:
Red, tender or swollen gums
Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing or eating hard food.
Gums that seem to be pulling away from your teeth
Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
Loose or separating teeth
If you currently have heart disease, make sure to let us know about your condition as well as any medications you are currently taking.
Call us today to schedule your appointment for a check up or cleaning.
|What is Biological Dentistry?
Dr. Michael D. Margolis