The Good Dental Service Is Good For The Heart

If you have periodontal disease you are twice as likely to have heart disease. You are also at a higher risk for a stroke. There is also a proven link between periodontal disease, diabetes, Alzheimer disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and other chronic inflammatory conditions. It is the inflammation part of both periodontal and heart disease that links them.

To clarify exactly what periodontal disease is; it is a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys bone and gum tissue. This disease affects nearly 75% of Americans. This is a major cause of adult tooth loss. The inflammation caused by gum disease increases plaque buildup which then causes the arteries of the heart to swell.

It is a good idea to get a periodontal evaluation, especially if you have already been diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, have a family history of periodontal disease, or are thinking about becoming pregnant. Also, if you notice a sore or irritation in your mouth that doesn’t get better within 2 weeks you should definitely make an appointment with a periodontist.

Connection to heart disease

Unfortunately, losing your teeth is not the only eventuality with periodontitis. Studies show a clear correlation between gum disease and heart disease, highlighting the fact that people with gum disease have a 25 percent greater risk of heart disease than those with healthy gums.

Although scientists have just begun to understand how one disease affects another, they now believe that inflammatory gum disease releases pro-inflammatory chemicals into the bloodstream, triggering a systemic inflammatory response. In other words, inflammation in one area of the body can cause inflammation in another. Additionally, people with poor oral health and missing and decayed teeth tend to suffer from poor nutrition. Why? Because eating a nutritious diet high in fiber, fruits and vegetables is more difficult for them. This too can affect heart health.

Preventing and treating gum disease

To prevent it, good dental hygiene is absolutely essential. There is no way around this. We must all brush at least twice a day and floss every night to keep the number of bacteria from multiplying out of control. In addition, twice-yearly visits to a dentist for cleaning and check-up is essential. Why?

Because although brushing and flossing removes plaque, that sticky coating that forms on the teeth, few of us can remove it all. A dentist can clean off accumulated plaque, and the plaque which has been there so long that it has turned into tartar (calculus). Once tartar has formed, it has to be removed with a special implement called a scaling tool.

A twice-yearly check-up will find small areas of decay so they can be repaired before they grow large and threaten the tooth’s life. Your dentist will use a probe to find pockets forming between the gums and teeth, where bacteria could gain a foothold. On the website of Dr. Michael Iott in Manhattan, NY, you can see photos showing how dental examination and cleaning is done, with information about his state-of-the-art technology used to do it.

If you have developed the deep pockets typical of periodontitis, your dentist will clean these as often as every two months until the infection can be brought under control. Additionally, root planing may be needed, where the infected base around the root of your tooth is removed.

Good daily care

Maintaining good oral hygiene at home and seeing your dentist twice a year for cleanings will help you to avoid many of these unpleasant oral conditions. To avoid gum disease and keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape, here are a few tips:

Brush at least twice daily

Use a fluoride toothpaste and dental x rays to protect against decay

Use a toothbrush with soft or medium synthetic bristles that has a head small enough to comfortably reach all around your mouth

Floss between all teeth, curving the floss around each neighboring tooth to contact the curving surfaces

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