Twice the Risk of Heart Disease If You Have Periodontal Disease

Stethoscope on heart: Periodontal disease can lead to heart disease
When it comes to waging the war on dental decay, brushing and flossing carefully isn’t just about maintaining a beautiful smile. As you eat and drink, food particles and sugars can collect on your teeth, creating a layer of plaque that can harden into tartar. These microscopic food particles feed oral bacteria, which create toxins and acids as they grow and multiply. Eventually, the acid erodes away dental enamel, creating cavities, and the toxins can leach into your bloodstream, creating significant health problems. In addition to contributing to diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer, periodontal disease can also increase your risk for developing life-threatening cardiovascular problems.

Periodontal Disease and Heart Health

The inflammation caused by periodontal disease is especially damaging to the heart. Inflammation and toxins can cause hardened arteries, problems with blood clotting, and internal swelling, all of which contribute to serious issues like heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease.

In fact, one recent study performed by the Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam found that periodontal disease is an independent risk factor for developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases, even when other factors like family history, age, and sex were ruled out. The study is significant because it followed more than 61,000 patients for over 15 years.

Other research studies have shown other important links between periodontal disease and heart health. In fact, researchers have shown that people who have periodontal disease are twice as likely as people with healthy teeth and gums to develop heart disease. Studies have also found the same oral bacteria present during active periodontal disease within the plaques lining the arteries leading to the heart.

Reduce Your Risk for Periodontal Disease

Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to prevent periodontal disease, and even advanced cases of periodontal disease are completely treatable. To prevent periodontal disease, focus carefully on your daily dental hygiene regimen. In addition to brushing and flossing, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which can help to keep the mouth clean and healthy.

It is also important to meet with your periodontist in Boston to check for the early signs of gingivitis. During your annual periodontal checkup, your Boston periodontist will check for problems such as gum inflammation, bone loss, tooth loss, and oral infections. If you have gum disease, your periodontist can treat it by deep cleaning your teeth, prescribing oral rinses with antibiotics, and performing certain oral surgeries like LANAP.

Request an Appointment

For more information about protecting your teeth and keeping your heart healthy, contact the Dental Partners of Boston today to schedule your appointment.

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