- Is there a relationship between periodontal disease and heart disease?
- How poor oral hygiene contributes to gum disease and cardiovascular problems
- Does having terrible teeth have an impact on your overall health?
- Dismantle the relationship between oral bacteria and heart disease.
OG Dental in Denver CO believes that when patients take excellent care of their teeth and gums, they contribute to their general health and well-being and bring dental care to the "heart."
"How does oral health affect heart health?" many of our patients inquire. It's a reasonable issue, given that persons with gum disease are two to three times more likely to have a heart attack or other form of cardiovascular incident.
Even though there are strong similarities between the two disorders, medical experts have yet to demonstrate a direct link between oral bacteria and heart disease.
According to the our friends at College Hill Dental Group dentist in Easton PA, the missing connection between gum disease and other systemic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, is found in the behavior of neutrophils. When germs infect the gums, these cells become activated.
Researchers discovered that an excess of neutrophils was being circulated, ready to battle, not just the main infection but also any subsequent infections, using in vivo models. This heinous onslaught may also kill afflicted tissues and organs, leaving the body vulnerable to further harm.
Researchers believe that neutrophils are the mechanism by which gum disease patients can contract other unrelated health issues, such as heart disease, as a result of these controlled clinical experiments, emphasizing the importance of protecting one's oral health to help reduce the risk of developing other conditions.
Plaque may build along the gumline due to poor oral care, such as not brushing, flossing, or seeing your dentist for regular exams. Over time, this plaque will solidify into tartar or calculus, which can ultimately cause gum tissue irritation. Gingivitis is the medical term for this ailment.
Gingivitis, if left untreated, may progress to periodontal disease, which weakens the bone that supports your teeth and leads to tooth loss.
However, the threats to your health do not end there.
People with severe periodontal disease are at the biggest risk of developing heart disease as a result of poor dental health, especially if it goes misdiagnosed and untreated. This is because germs infecting your mouth may move to other regions of the body through the circulation.
When germs enter your heart, they may bind to any damaged tissue and create inflammation. As a consequence of the inflammation generated by oral bacteria, you are also at risk of atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and stroke.
Bacteria from the mouth may readily enter the circulation, where they can cause infection and inflammation. Other major health issues that may be induced by poor dental health include:
- Dementia: Substances secreted by diseased gums may destroy brain cells or disrupt nerve pathways in the brain, increasing the risk of developing dementia.
- Respiratory infections: Oral bacteria absorbed into the lungs or traveling there via the bloodstream may cause respiratory infections, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and even COPD.
- Diabetes: Gum disease may cause high blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of diabetes or making symptoms more difficult to treat in persons who already have it.
- Cancer: Gum disease and poor dental health have been related to an increased risk of developing kidney, pancreatic, and blood malignancies.
- Difficult pregnancy: Periodontal disease and gingivitis have been linked to premature birth, low birth weight, and other health problems in the mother and her baby.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Oral bacteria from gum disease can increase inflammation throughout the body, increasing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, a painful and debilitating inflammatory disease.
The good news is that the oral health problems that might lead to other medical diseases are fully avoidable if you understand the indications of periodontal disease and what to do if you have it.
Although avoiding heart disease entails more good health practices than simply maintaining ideal oral cleanliness, adopting a preventive dental care program helps minimize the chance of oral bacteria causing cardiovascular difficulties and other health concerns.
This also includes addressing any particular dental symptoms you may be experiencing with your dentist in Denver CO, especially those that may indicate periodontal disease, such as:
- Gums that are red or otherwise discolored
- Gums that are puffy, swollen, or sensitive
- When you clean your teeth, floss, or eat, you may see blood.
- Pus or other infection-related symptoms evident around your gums and teeth
- Gums that seem to "tear apart" from your teeth
- Teeth that are loose or seem to be sliding away from the neighboring teeth
- A metallic or otherwise unpleasant aftertaste in your tongue
- Consistent halitosis (bad breath) throughout the day Teeth that are extremely sensitive, particularly to hot or cold foods and drinks
If you have any of these symptoms, we urge that you consult your dentist near you as soon as possible. They will be able to undertake a thorough examination and, if gum disease is detected, will send you to a periodontist for further treatment.
Remember the old adage, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?" So brush at least twice a day, floss once a day, eat healthy, tooth-friendly foods, and see your dentist regularly to protect your general health. Take good care of your teeth and gums, and you'll be taking good care of yourself!
Our Denver CO dentists and dental hygienists recognize the connection between cardiovascular disease and dental therapy that aims to prevent the development of mouth infections. We'll be pleased to answer any questions you have about how we can help you achieve wonderful smiles and general well-being for life.
Call us or make an appointment online now. We'll be delighted to meet you!
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