The Heart Relationship You Don´t Want

Proof that Oral Health Influences Heart Health

Right now, most of you have heard the results of the International oral health campaign. Dentist all over the world have joined associations and universities to campaign for good oral health.

So by now, you know that oral health is important, yet still, the dentists at Premier Access Dental told us that statistics show that almost 80% of all Americans live with periodontal or gum disease and it often goes undiagnosed. There are many reasons for this lack of treatment and it can range from a lack of money, no dental insurance  and other issues. The dentists at Smile Wide Dental say that it can even be  because the patient feels fine and does not feel the need to visit the dentist. This is an issue that concerns all dental professionals, especially now that there is evidence of a specific link between oral health and physical health.

Broadway Dental showed us where recent studies show that there are there specific links between oral health and heart disease. Gum disease at either a moderate or advanced age can increase the risk for heart disease. but aside from this evidence, science now knows that oral health can also offer important warning signs for a range of illnesses including heart problems.


Why is Oral Health Related to Heart Health? Premier Access Dental Explains

It is all related to bacteria says Premier Access. Bacteria is the factor that joins both oral health and heart health together. It is the spreading of bacteria from your mouth to other parts of your body through the bloodstream that causes so much damage. When the bacteria reaches your heart, it can attack this organ and damage areas in ways that are irreparable. Bacteria also causes inflammation which can restrict blood flow throughout the body and cause diseases such as endocarditis, an affection of the inner lining of the heart. And bacteria can cause other conditions as well, such as such as atherosclerosis, also known as clogged arteries and strokes.

Who Is at Risk? Premier Access Dental Gives Us The Answer

Patients who have chronic gum conditions have the highest risk for heart disease, particularly when the gum disease is not diagnosed and managed. Bacteria that lives in your mouth and is associated with a gum infection can also travel throughout your bloodstream and attack the blood vessels and heart. Even when you don’t have noticeable gum inflammation, your increased risk for cardiovascular disease can exist. Inadequate oral hygiene can increase levels of plaque, putting you at risk for gum disease and heart disease.


Symptoms and Warning Signs

According to dental specialists at West Coast Dental, you may have gum disease even when you don’t present any of the following symptoms:

  • Your gums are red, swollen and sore to the touch.
  • Your gums bleed when you eat, brush or floss.
  • You see pus or other signs of infection around the gums and teeth.
  • Your gums look as if they are “pulling away” from the teeth.
  • You frequently have bad breath or notice a bad taste in your mouth.
  • One or some of your teeth are loose, or feel as if they are moving away from the other teeth.


Prevention Measures

The best way to prevent bacteria from causing physical harm is to practice good oral hygiene and make regular dental examinations. Dental professionals at West Coast Dental recommend brushing your teeth twice a day with the soft bristle brush and using one that fits in your mouth in a way that it

adequately reaches every tooth surface easily. you should also use a fluoride toothpaste, as the fluoride is proven to increase gum health and reduce bacteria. Floss daily and visit your dentist regularly for regular check-ups. It is up to you to protect yourself from developing that connection between oral health and heart disease. keep your smile healthy, clean and beautiful throughout your life.


Can All Oral Bacteria Cause Heart Disease?

West Coast Dental suggests that we all have hundreds of different strains of bacteria in our mouths. There are more than 700 different strains that live here. Most oral bacteria is beneficial and even offers digestive health benefits. However, researchers are closer to defining  the exact strains of bacteria that cause periodontal disease and sometimes even heart disease. Evidence from a study made in the State University of New York shows that there are possibly two oral pathogens associated with an increased risk of having a heart attack. However, most doctors agree that  it is the total number of growing bacteria that grows in the mouth that can also impact heart health.

West Coast Dental professionals say that the conclusions show that even though there are a few specific pathogens directly associated with a increased risk in coronary heart disease, it is the total increase of oral bacteria that puts more of a burden on the body. So we can say, it is the total number of bugs that is more important than the type of bug which can negatively affect heart health. This study involved 386 men and women between the ages of 35 and 69 who suffered a heart attack, as well as another 840 people who were free of heart trouble. Samples of dental plaque were collected from 12 different locations on the gums and teeth, and researchers analyzed the samples for the presence of the 6 most common types of periodontal bacteria as well as the number of these organisms living within each mouth.

The analysis showed  that heart patients had more of each type of bacteria than those who were disease free. Two of the species known as Tannerella Forsynthesis and Preventella  Intermedia, are known to be associated with increased risk of heart attack.


What Can You Do to Protect Your Oral Health?

Many people do not believe that gum disease is such an important issue, but the doctors at Park City Dental say it is vital to your overall health. Periodontal disease and gum disease are of bacterial origin, and this bacteria can travel to the heart and cause heart problems. So meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are important to protecting your oral health, and in  protecting your overall health as well. Even if you haven’t visited a dentist in some time, it is important that you schedule an appointment to start getting your oral health back into shape. The dentists at Broadway Dental have told us that they often find that many people  don’t want to make a dental appointment because they are embarrassed for not having gone to the dentist in some time. However, this is not a problem that will not go away on its own, and it does put your health at risk. Schedule your visit and start protecting your teeth, your oral health and your heart.

The dentists at Park City Dental also gave us some common oral health questions they get which refers to gum disease and dental visits. We have decided to list these questions and their respective answers.


How much does it cost to treat gum disease?

PCD tell us that like most services, the cost of treating gum disease is based upon the time required and the difficulty of the procedures involved. Each person has unique and individualized problems which must be accounted for in determining a proper course of treatment. A proper evaluation will determine the extent of the disease and map out the best course for treatment along with its attendant costs. As usual, costs can be dramatically reduced and controlled by thorough and meticulous control of bacterial biofilms which will promote faster healing and better health maintenance.

Why should I go to a dentist?

Broadway Dental professionals tell us why. Dentists are professionals who are trained and who show a special interest in the general health and well-being of their patients and how the health of the mouth affects their general health. They pay special attention to emerging science and newer technologies and procedures which reduce health risk factors and assure better health for their patients. They practice with the best clinical judgment and clinical skills possible. Together this promotes excellent care for patients and encourages proper inter-disciplinary care when necessary.


I am worried that conditions in my mouth may be impacting my general health – what can I do?

It is good to be aware that problems in your mouth may be impacting your general health. If you are concerned that conditions in or around your mouth may be increasing health risk factors you should consult with a dentist.

Is gum disease the only oral health problem that is tied to the rest of the body?

No, say the professionals at Broadway Dental. There are other oral health conditions which have significant impact and consequence to the rest of the body and your general health. We know that gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pregnancy complications, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, etc. Other conditions include oral cancer, oral airway and sleep apnea, TMJ – headaches & migraines, dental decay, and biocompatibility of dental filling materials (in genetically susceptible individuals). These connections between the mouth and the body highlight the importance of good oral health and dental stability in assuring better general health.


Is bad breath a sign of gum disease?

Yes! Bad breath, or halitosis, happens when bacteria and dead skin cells and other organic debris, decay and putrefyproducing sulfur compounds which give off the symptom of bad breath. These bad-breath chemicals can cause a breakdown of delicate gum tissues allowing bacteria and their toxins to enter the gum tissue easier. Once in the gum tissue, this bacteria can move into the body’s circulatory system. Chronic bad breath should always be viewed as a bad sign and a risk factor for tissue breakdown and disease. Generally, cosmetic attempts to mask the odor with standard mouth rinses fall short of what’s needed to cure bad breath and rid yourself of the bacteria which causes it.


What can I do at home to protect my oral health?

Periodontal disease and tooth decay are diseases of bacterial origin. Meticulous oral hygiene and using antibacterial rinses and solutions are ‘things’ you can and should do at home!  However, nothing can take the place of your twice a year standard dental check-ups. By taking better care of your teeth, you can have a health mouth and lower the risk factors for developing other general health problems.


Bottom Line

Your oral and physical health go hand in hand. It is vital that you return to proper dental care and do your best to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily. This will help control the bacteria in your mouth and reduce your risk of getting heart disease.


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