Monday, September 22, 2014

Mountain View, CA Dentist Explains How Dental and Heart Health Intersect

The connection between the heart and the mouth is much closer than most of us realize. Over recent years, more and more studies are showing that some oral and dental-related conditions have a close correlation with heart diseases.

This connection is particularly evident in periodontal and gum diseases.  A periodontal disease occurs when the gums surrounding a decayed or decaying tooth start to pull away from the tooth, leaving behind pockets that become infected due to factors like the accumulation of plaque, or build ups of a sticky film consisting of bacteria, mucus, and other materials. As the body’s immune system fights the infection, the bone and tissues that connect the teeth to the gums break down. When the infection remains untreated, it can eventually lead to the loss of the affected tooth.  But this is just the start.

As the new studies have shown, gum disease affects the body in other ways. It can lead to, or indicate, the presence of cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure. An article in the Huffington Post by Amanda L. Chan explains:

“The evident and consistent relationship between self-reported dental status and cardiovascular risk in this population [of people with gum disease] could point towards periodontal disease being a risk factor for incident CHD.  Researchers found an association not only between number of heart risk factors and periodontal disease, but also higher levels of these heart disease biomarkers and periodontal disease.

Even in health-conscious areas like Mountain View, CA, dental activities like flossing are often forgeten, but this latest research gives us even more reason to be pay attention to oral health. “Proper oral hygiene requires daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to the dentist to identify any potential markers for decay or indications of cavities, and treat the condition as early as possible,” explains noted Mountain View, CA dentist Dr. Patrick F. McEvoy, DDS.

Ms. Chan’s report goes on to present further reasons for staying in touch with your dentist:

“A study presented in 2011 at a meeting of the American Heart Association, for instance, showed that getting your teeth professionally cleaned even just once in your life is associated with a decreased risk of heart attack and stroke (though the association is strongest among people who get yearly cleanings).”

These are compelling reasons for not taking dental health for granted. Healthy teeth and gums are not just about great smiles - they are also one of the keys to cardiovascular health and overall well-being.

(Source: What The Health Of Your Teeth And Gums Has To Do With The Health Of Your Heart, Huffington Post, April 15, 2014)

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