Heart disease has many causes linked to poor life style choices or to family genetics. However, the way to a healthy heart is likely to be through your teeth and gums.
Evidence suggests that the healthier the teeth and gums, the stronger and less disease-prone the heart is. If you don’t floss or brush, you might be setting yourself up not just for gum disease but also for heart disease.
Research studies are suggesting a possible link between oral infection and systemic disorders. Gum disease might be a kind of early warning system, with poor oral health linked to diabetes, kidney disease, preterm labour, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and even certain types of cancer.
There is a startling correlation between the health of your gums and atherosclerosis, a condition that is an underlying cause of heart disease: The worse a person’s gum disease, the narrower that person’s arteries may be due to a build-up of plaque. This may hold true even for young, healthy adults who have no other symptoms of heart disease.
Gum disease in the early stages is called gingivitis and left untreated develops into full-blown periodontal disease. The tissue that surrounds the bones supporting the teeth becomes inflamed and infected. This results from the accumulation of bacteria in the plaque under the tissue holding the teeth. The bacteria release toxins and other chemicals that begin to destroy the bone. Scientists believe these toxins circulate and cause damage elsewhere in the body; exactly how remains unclear.
People need to think of their dentist and hygienist as important members in their health care team. After all the sooner a disease is diagnosed the more likely a good outcome will result. Remember regular visits to a dentist will make use of that early warning system that is your mouth.
To learn more about your oral health and how it contributes to your total well-being, call for an appointment with our friendly and informed staff.