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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Attention: Researchers find Gum disease and heart disease are related

This topic is appearing more often in the news today, and must not be ignored. Research has found that gum disease sufferers are nearly twice as likely to also suffer from coronary heart disease. Your risk of a stroke is higher as a result of having gum disease, and not treating it. Periodontal disease is a chronic condition in which the gum tissue surrounding the teeth is infected by the growth of bacteria. If it is left untreated, deep pockets form between the gums and the teeth and underlying jawbone is also destroyed, and cannot grow back. This is a process which is visible on the dental x-rays taken by your dentist. Researchers shows that some of these strains of bacteria enter the bloodstream and attach to the walls in the heart blood vessels. The bacteria then contribute to blood clot formation creating greater risk of a cardiac event to the patient. Periodontal disease causes severe inflammation in the gum tissue that elevates the white blood cell count and also the high sensitivity C-reactive protein levels. Studies have shown that elevated levels of C-reactive proteins have been linked to heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Individuals who experience particularly high levels of oral bacteria might have weaker immune systems, and therefore cannot fight the disease itself as well as those who do not, and so are more susceptible to disease. Since periodontal disease appears to be a risk factor for both heart attack and stroke, it is extremely important to seek immediate treatment. Dentists and hygienists are able to conduct treatments to remove hardened calculus (tartar) deposits from the gum pockets. An antibiotic may be prescribed, and/or placed in the site of the infection to ensure that the bacterium is completely destroyed and the periodontal infection does not spread. In most cases, periodontal disease can be managed with regular follow-up cleanings and proper home care. Based on the severity of your disease, you may need to see your dentist more than twice a year to manage your condition. Source: E.A. Isola, DDS


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