Healthy Teeth Make for a Healthy Heart

Blog Title- Gum Disease

It’s your dentist’s job to tell you about the health of your mouth, and we know that can get a little dry. But did you realize your oral health may actually affect your heart health?? Although researchers are still establishing exactly how this connection works, there is a lot of evidence to suggest those with gum disease, an advanced form of gingivitis, can actually lead to an increased chance of heart attack or stroke. Although we may not know exactly why gum disease can lead to heart problems, we want our patients to know how to avoid serious health complications (spoiler alert: it has a lot to do with regular brushing and flossing!).

Given the complexity of the human body, it’s an incredibly difficult task to identify and explain direct processes of cause-and-effect; as such, we have been unsuccessful at explaining precisely why and how gum disease and heart disease are linked, but we are aware there is a connection and that it’s in the interest of our health and yours to be familiar with the long-term risks poor dental health can have on the body. Succinctly put, there are tremendous amounts of data that have demonstrated those with compromised oral health and long-term periodontal inflammation are at a significantly higher risk to develop heart disease and increase the likelihood of the individual to suffer from a heart attack or stroke.

At present, the culprits most suspected of triggering this chain reaction are bacteria and inflammation. Some researchers have suggested that due to the vascular nature of the gums, infection and bacteria below the gum line can become dislodged and enter the blood stream with disruption. When this happens it can: trigger inflammation through the body, damage blood vessels, or possibly form clots.

Your blood stream is a direct line to your heart, and the bacteria associated with gum disease can easily find its way into your heart and then cause significant damage. Inflammation, on the other hand, leads to hardened arteries and makes it more difficult for blood flow to reach your heart; this additional strain can easily trigger a heart attack, particularly if you were already susceptible in the first place. Gum disease comes with a handful of standard symptoms, and inflammation is one of the most common. Left untreated, it isn’t too far a stretch to suggest the long-term implications can move beyond your oral health and affect the rest of your body’s systems.

Ultimately the relationship between gum disease and heart disease is primarily based off long-standing conditions; that is to say, if you are diagnosed with gingivitis and visit your dentist to resolve the issue, there isn’t reason to worry about suffering a heart attack. It’s when problems are allowed to progress and fester that there is cause for concern in regards to the long-term damage that may be happening in the body without receiving proper treatment and care.

A study titled Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States* estimated that 47.2 percent of American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis. In adults 65 and older, prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent. It’s an easy thing to miss by yourself, and your dentist can always give you more information about your health. If you are following proper home care treatment, visiting the dentist every 6 months, and have not been informed of any serious issues by the doctor, then there is little cause for concern. As always, if you have absolutely any worries at all about the health of your gums or overall oral health, then call our office for an appointment. It’s always easier and more affordable to treat the problem before it is allowed to take hold. Keep brushing and flossing!

*Eke, P. I., Dye, B. A., Wei, L., Thornton-Evans, G. O., & Genco, R. J. (2012, August 30). Prevalence of periodontitis in adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010 [Electronic version]. Journal of Dental Research, 91(10), 914-920. doi:10.1177/0022034512457373

Periodontics and Implants – Diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology

10425 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Suite 102, Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Phone: (916) 965-7444 – Fax: (916) 965-9372

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Your Missing Teeth Hurt More Than Your Confidence

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A significant portion of modern dentistry is framed around cosmetically improving your smile. Having a smile you can be proud of is invaluable, and a smile that hurts your confidence can affect your life immeasurably. Stained and yellow teeth damage your ego, but missing teeth can damage the structure of your jaw, the alignment of your other teeth, and may come with a myriad of long-term and serious consequences.

It only takes one missing tooth to catalyze bone loss in the jaw, which will continue to recede at an exponential rate for as long as the problem goes unattended. The effects of which can be seen by deteriorating facial structure, subsequent damage to the gum tissue, and if untreated for a long period of time: the lower part of the face may begin to collapse, as they are lacking the support of teeth and the now-missing infrastructure of the jaw.

Missing teeth are not uncommon, in fact, 60 to 70 percent of the adult population is missing at least one tooth; the back molars are typically the first to go. It can be easy to rationalize forgoing cosmetic purchases, particularly those related to dentistry – but repairing your missing teeth is not the expense to skip, and the longer it is left untreated, the more expensive and difficult to fix the matter becomes.

Do yourself, your smile, and your long-term health a favor by making your periodontal consultation to set yourself up for a lifetime of happy, and more importantly healthy teeth.

 

Periodontics and Implants – Diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology

10425 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Suite 102, Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Phone: (916) 965-7444 – Fax: (916) 965-9372

Plaque VS. Tartar

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Plaque and tartar are not one in the same.  Tartar is more severe than plaque.  Tartar can become a serious issue if not quickly taken care of.  Here are the differences to help sort out any type of confusion between the two.

Plaque is an accumulation of bacteria and particles that build up naturally on the tooth surfaces.

Plaque:
– Sticky
– Colorless
– Full of bacteria

When sugar comes in contact with plaque, acids are released.  These acids then attack the tooth enamel causing it to break down which in turn can lead to…. CAVITIES!  When the tooth enamel is broken down, not only do cavities form, this can then contribute to early stages of gum disease, such as Gingivitis.

The best way to prevent any of the above issues from occurring is to take good care of your teeth, gums and mouth!  Brushing and flossing are key components to getting rid of plaque and clearing off the sugary acids from the teeth.

If plaque build-up remains on your teeth, it begins to harden forming tartar

Tartar:
– Tough
– Hard
– Crusty
– Traps stains
– Causes discoloration

The simple act of daily brushing and flossing will not remove tartar.  After plaque has formed in to tartar, the next step would be getting to the dentist.  Your dentist is the only one that will be able to remove the tartar from your teeth.

To avoid plaque and tartar altogether, proper oral health care maintenance needs to be administered on a daily basis.  Plaque is inevitable and will form on tooth surfaces.   Removing the plaque and not allowing it to sit on your teeth prevents it from evolving into tartar as well as the enamel-attacking acids, cavities, and gum disease.

So remember, brush your teeth regularly, twice a day, floss those gums daily and take care of your mouth.

 

Periodontics and Implants – Diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology

10425 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Suite 102, Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Phone: (916) 965-7444 – Fax: (916) 965-9372

7 Serious Health Concerns That Also Affect Your Teeth

Mouth and Body Go Hand-in-Hand

Did you know that poor oral health care can be the cause of many different health issues within your body itself?  There are many connections between taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums and the rest of your body.

People with gum disease have a 40% increased risk of developing a chronic health condition. Bacterial build up on your teeth and gums give you a greater probability of infection which may then spread throughout other areas of your body.

Common Health Issues That Affect Oral HealthJune FB Candy (6)

  • Diabetes: causes oral inflammation and affects the body’s ability to process sugar.
  • Heart Disease: about 91% of those with heart disease are also found to have periodontitis. Inflammation in the mouth corresponds with the inflammation of blood vessels which then leads to less blood flow causing an increase in blood pressure.  There is also a chance of plaque that is attached to the blood vessel itself, breaking off and traveling to the heart and/or brain resulting in a heart attack or stroke.
  • Issues during Pregnancy: pregnant women with gum disease run the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and susceptible to developmental issues such as learning disorders, lung and heart conditions.
  • Osteoporosis: osteoporosis, like periodontitis, causes bone loss. It’s common for those with osteoporosis to also have some degree of gum disease.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: those with rheumatoid arthritis battling gum disease have found gum disease treatment may also reduce overall body pain in regards to their arthritic symptoms.
  • Smoking: bad for your health, both overall and oral.  Nicotine interferes with your gums’ ability to fight infection.  This also extends the recovery period for those gum infection treatments.
  • Obesity: those with 20% or higher body fat percentage have been linked to rapid progression of gum disease.

Taking excellent care of your oral health has a positive domino effect for the rest of your body.  Same can be said with your body – taking care of your health and body can positively affect your mouth, teeth and gums.
If you care about your health and yourself, you in-turn need to care about your mouth.  Be true to your teeth, or they will be false to you!

Periodontics and Implants – Diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology

10425 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Suite 102, Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Phone: (916) 965-7444 – Fax: (916) 965-9372