How They Are Related And How They Can Be Avoided
Did you know that maintaining good oral health could help reduce your risk of atherosclerosis? Periodontal disease and overall build up of plaque and bacteria in the mouth can lead to health complications, including cardiovascular and arterial diseases.
There has been plenty of research and studies dedicated to understanding the link between the two conditions, and according to a study reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, treating periodontal, or gum, disease can help lower your risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health problems.
So What Is Periodontal Disease, Anyway?
Periodontal disease is more commonly referred to as gum disease. It can be described as an infection that can damage the health of your gums, teeth, and jaw. More than half of adults in America are suffering from periodontitis, despite it being a highly preventable disease. Periodontal issues are generally caused by poor oral health, which can mean not brushing, flossing, or scheduling regular dental appointments. If you are noticing swollen, red, or aching gums, Dr. Lloyd Beaufils recommends you contact your local dentist for an examination.
How Can Periodontitis Cause Heart Disease?
It is believed that the connection between poor oral health and cardiovascular conditions is due to the build up of bacteria and gunk in the mouth. This plaque is essentially a sticky thick ball of bacteria and it is believed that, overtime, swallowing it can cause it to stick to the arteries harden on the arterial walls. Eventually, these hardened masses can obstruct the flow of blood to your organs and lead to health conditions.
This is known as atherosclerosis. Conversely, heart disease or similar conditions bacteria to develop, leading to periodontitis and inflammation in the mouth. Patients who are pregnant, have type 2 diabetes, or a have history of stroke or heart disease are at a higher risk for developing gum disease.
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How Can These Conditions Be Avoided?
Before a patient develops periodontitis, they will often begin to see warning signs, such as gingivitis, sensitivity in the teeth or gums, or a film developing on the teeth. The best way to avoid this is to brush and floss at least twice a day, visit your dentist every six months for a regular check up and cleaning, and avoid behavior and factors that can put you at a higher risk for gum disease. Smoking can highly increase your risk of periodontitis and has been linked to a large number or health and medical conditions that can be long-lasting, including cancer.
Another important factor that can affect oral health is your diet. Maintaining a diet that is high in antioxidants and low in sugars and alcohol can lessen your possibility of developing gum disease. Certain medications can also affect the strength of your gums and teeth. If you are taking any medications, be sure to discuss the oral side effects with your doctor and dentist.
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What Should I Do Next?
If you are a resident of Cooper City or the surrounding areas and are worried about your oral health or just need a regular dental check-up, schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Lloyd Beaufils. Him and his team of expert dental assistants will help you feel at ease in their office so you can feel confident in your smile.