February 4, 2018
In recent years, medical professionals have been stressing the relationship between oral health and overall health. Think about it like this. Your mouth can act as a mirror to the rest of your body. If you have poor oral health, it’s a good sign that you have some issues deeper inside as well; and it’s not just a saying.
In fact, what your dentist in Fremont is saying is backed up by science. It’s not a coincidence that 85 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease and 200 million Americans have some form of periodontal disease. Keep reading to learn the details.
What is the Link Between Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease?
The main suspect in the link between gum and heart disease appears to be the bacteria that causes both, according to scientists. Basically, bacteria that’s found in infected gum tissue breaks down the barrier between the gums and connective tissue in the mouth. Once this barrier breaks down, bacteria can effectively enter the bloodstream and spread to other areas of the body.
Oral bacteria are known for contributing to diseases outside of the mouth. They have been found in the fatty deposits of people with atherosclerosis, which narrows arteries or even completely clogs them. The last thing you want is a clogged artery as it can easily become life-threatening.
Which Diseases Am I at Higher Risk Of?
Heart disease, the leading cause of death of men and women in the United States, becomes a much higher risk when you have gum disease. This is especially true if you have a more advanced form such as periodontitis. When oral bacteria travels through the bloodstream and attaches to fatty deposits in blood vessels, it increases your chances of getting blood clots and therefore heart attacks.
Furthermore, gum disease has been connected to patients who have had strokes in the past. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, patients who suffered an acute cerebrovascular ischemia (stroke) also had a higher likelihood of having an oral infection. Heart disease and stroke are just two diseases that have been tied to periodontal disease, but unfortunately there many others as well.
What are the Signs of Periodontal Disease? How Do I Prevent It?
If you exhibit any of the following symptoms, there’s a good chance you’re suffering from gum disease and need to see your dentist in Fremont right away for treatment and management. This includes:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose or separating teeth
- Receding gums
- Pus between the gums and teeth
- Sores in the mouth
The best way to prevent all forms of periodontal disease is by brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist every six months for examinations and cleanings. They are the best equipped to catch early signs of gum disease, so don’t skip any appointments.
To ignore your oral health is to ignore the health of the rest of your body as well. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Fremont to see if you’re doing enough to prevent periodontal disease!
About the Author
Dr. James Block earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Southern California dental school. He’s currently a member of the ADA and the State of California Dental Association. He’s fully capable of managing and treating gum disease through several different techniques, including soft tissue laser treatment. To learn more about these treatments and his practice, contact him (510) 793-0801 or visit his website.
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