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Periodontal Disease and your Heart


Posted on 5/10/2015 by Dr. Dennison

A dentist holding a cartoon like heart inside her hands. Everyone seems to be health conscious these days. We are eating healthier and exercising more. Fitness is a billion dollar business because everyone wants to keep their heart healthy and strong. If you add up all the money you are spending to have a healthy heart, you would be amazed.

There are gym memberships or at least the latest program to do in your home. You have prescription meds to control high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You are buying vitamin E and fish oil because you heard that will help your heart. And let's not forget the wine; that's supposed to help too. With all these things out there vying for your hard earned dollars, there's one thing that costs about $2 that will also help your heart health and chances are you already own it. It's your toothbrush! Surprised?

How a Toothbrush Affects your Heart Health?

Using your toothbrush after meals and first thing in the morning will keep your teeth clean and free of plaque. Bacteria and plaque go hand in hand so keeping plaque away will keep bacteria to a minimum. When bacteria is in your mouth it eats away at your gum tissue and bone structure and infections set in. Those infections travel through your body and can end up causing cardiac issues.

What does the Research Say?

The American Academy of Periodontology has studied this link between periodontal disease and heart conditions and found that those with gum disease are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease or heart disease. They also discovered that cavities, missing teeth and gum disease were as good as cholesterol levels in predicting heart disease. Those individuals who had certain levels of bacteria in their mouth associated with causing diseases were more apt to have atherosclerosis in the artery in the neck or the carotid artery. Clogging this artery will lead to strokes.

The plaque that is found in arteries does differ from the plaque found in the mouth. The cause isn't the plaque but what the plaque creates, which is bacteria. It is suggested that the bacteria from your mouth travels through the bloodstream and sticks to the plaque on the wall of the artery. As you know, bacteria under your gum line causes inflammation and swelling. It is believed that once the bacteria is attached to the artery wall it also causes inflammation and swelling causing the artery to become clogged.

Can Periodontal Gum Disease cause a Heart Attack or Stroke?

It is unknown if periodontal disease could cause a heart attack or stroke, however, the connection between the two seems clear. Researchers aren't clear if gum disease is a cause of heart disease or if heart disease is causing gum disease. One thing can't be overlooked. Those with gum disease have had increased heart disease. Heart disease can be difficult to detect early so paying attention to your oral health may be an indicator of a health problem brewing.

How can you Manage your risk against Periodontal Disease?

Managing your risk for periodontal disease is one of the simplest things you can do for your health. You don't have to travel to a gym every day or buy fancy equipment. Just a few tools that you already have in your bathroom will do the trick. Brushing frequently and flossing regularly are essential to keep gum disease at bay. Regular dental check-ups are also the key to oral health. Your oral health care professional will be able to spot any potential problems and treat them before they develop into something more. Managing your risk for gum disease has additional benefits too. You'll have a dazzling smile and fresh breath!

Call us today if you are worried about gum disease - at (832) 975-0990


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University Periodontal Associates
3100 Richmond Ave Suite 509
Houston, TX 77098

Phone (832) 975-0990


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University Periodontal Associates, 3100 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX, 77098 - Key Phrases: dental implants Houston TX | Periodontist Houston TX | All-On-4 Houston TX | (832) 975-0990 | www.gums-houston.com | 4/23/2017