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The Apparent Connection Between Gum Disease And Heart Disease

September 28, 2010

HERE AT LAKE OCONEE DENTISTRY IN GREENSBORO, IF YOU’RE LIKE MOST OF OUR VALUED PATIENTS, you want to take care of your health, right? And that includes taking care of your heart! Did you know that your humble little toothbrush may rank right up there with your monthly gym membership and your healthy cookbooks in helping keep your heart healthy? It’s true!

According to Dr. Patti Bradley, “There are quite a number of recent studies that suggest gum disease—and some other oral health issues—are DIRECTLY related to heart problems.”

In a recent American Academy of Periodontology study it was reported that people with periodontal disease are nearly two times as likely to have heart disease. Another study concluded that common oral health problems, including gingivitis, missing teeth, and/or cavities are as good at predicting heart disease as are bad cholesterol levels!Surprised?While there’s still an awfully LOT to learn about these connections, the evidence seems to be mounting each year. Dr. David Bradley adds, “We know that the bacteria in our mouths can actually enter the bloodstream through our gums. Studies have shown that these same bacteria are often found clumped up in artery plaques. One theory that is gaining some acceptance is that they stick to fatty plaques in one’s bloodstream which can directly contribute to blockages.”Several other theories revolve around your body’s defenses against bacteria, including a natural inflammation response. Oral bacteria travelling through your bloodstream can cause blood cells to swell, which can then lead to narrowing of arteries and clot risks.

The exact relationships between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease is still unclear, but today’s research has concluded there’s definitely a connection. Of course, you don’t want to ignore all of the other things you can do to keep your heart healthy while just focus on brushing! That would be silly. Keep eating healthy foods, exercise regularly, and take care of risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

And, when it’s SO EASY to have us help you clear up any periodontal disease problems… Be sure to do that too! It makes good common sense! And don’t forget that PREVENTION goes a long way in preventing problems in the future.

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We look forward to your next visit in our practice. Thanks.