Heart disease is America’s leading cause of death, and it is linked to gum disease. But how? Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect conditions outside of the mouth. It begins when plaque builds up around our teeth. Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and attach to heart blood vessel’s fatty deposits. The fatty deposits can cause blood clots, which may lead to heart attacks.
Inflammation is the common characteristic of heart disease and gum disease. Harm to the body can be minimized by stopping the infection of gums.
If you have heart disease, be sure to…
brush and floss daily for good oral hygiene
Visit your dentist regularly
Tell your dentist you have a heart problem
Follow your physician’s and dentist’s instructions, and use prescriptions as directed
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine claims that treating gum disease can lead to better overall health. The study researched health and dental records from about 339,000 people who had periodontal disease and a chronic illness. Those who had at least one periodontal disease treatment had lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations within four years of treatment compared to those who were not treated.
Symptoms of gum disease
Continuous bad breath
Red or swollen gums
Tender or bleeding gums
Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
How is periodontal (gum) disease treated?
There are several options for treating gum disease. You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease if it is treated properly. The first step is having the plaque and tartar deposits removed by "scaling and root planing" by your dentist. This procedure heals the gum tissue and shrinks the periodontal pockets. Your dentist may recommend a medication to help control the pain and infection. If your dentist sees progress in healing from the "scaling and root planing" you most likely will not need further treatment, only preventive care. But if the periodontal pockets are deep and bone is lost, surgery may be needed to help prevent tooth loss.
Vanessa Felts, Dental Hygienist with Paducah Dental Care, suggests several ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
Brush your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste).
Floss regularly to remove plaque from between teeth. Or use a device such as a special brush or wooden or plastic pick recommended by a dental professional.
Visit the dentist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning.
Visit Paducah Dental Care to learn more!