Gum Health, Heart Health Share Risk Factors

Gum health, heart health share risk factors

Dr. Charles Branen -- Lake Grove Dental

There's no question that regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups can help keep your mouth healthy. But if you fall short on your hygiene routine, can gum disease actually cause heart disease?

Though definitive proof remains elusive, studies have shown that people with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease. Both are related to inflammation.

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an inflammatory disease caused by a bacterial infection.

The gums and bone structure that support the teeth begin to disintegrate and eventually bone loss occurs. By the time your dental office can detect this in your mouth, the disease has already become systemic and the lining of the blood vessels in your body are inflamed.

Research has shown that treating the gum disease has lowered some of the markers related to cardiovascular problems.

Gum disease and heart disease share risk factors such as smoking, age and diabetes, and both contribute to inflammation in the body.

Although these shared risk factors may explain why diseases of the blood vessels and mouth can occur simultaneously, some evidence suggests that there may be an independent association between the two diseases.

To keep gum disease at bay:

  • With a soft toothbrush, brush teeth twice daily and with fluoride toothpaste
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss and/or an interdental cleaner
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. Avoid acidic beverages such as energy drinks, soda and juices.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for oral examinations and professional cleanings.

Story Credit: http://www.pamplinmedia.com/lor-adv-insiders/371669-255496-gum-health-heart-health-share-risk-factors