How Periodontal Disease Can Lead To Heart Disease

August 16, 2014 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
August 16, 2014 - ACCORDDENTAL-DENVER-AUGUST- Defining health requires that you consider how the systems contribute to your overall well-being. The respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems, along with all systems of the body, work together to create optimal function.

The health of your teeth and gums is recognized as one of the key indicators of the health of the entire body. Researchers are now recognizing the link between periodontal disease and other health conditions.

These conditions include heart disease, the leading killer of men and women today. By understanding periodontal disease, and its related health issues, you'll be able to decrease your risk for developing heart disease and other debilitating health conditions.

What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease can be classified as a group of conditions that affect the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Poor oral health care leads to an excessive growth of bacteria in the mouth. This can destroy the surrounding tissues and increase the likelihood of tooth loss.

Gingivitis and periodontitis are the most common periodontal conditions associated with periodontal disease. Plaque build-up is a common occurrence in the mouth. If left unaddressed, it can cause an inflammatory response in the gum line, with bleeding and pain appearing over time.

Periodontitis occurs when pockets are formed as the inside gum layer pulls away from the teeth. This increases the amount of food particles and debris that can build up in the gum line and leads to further infection. The body's immune response is then activated in order to combat the bacteria as it spreads.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
In addition to bleeding and discomfort, the following are symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Receding gum line
  • Changes in bite alignment
  • Bad breath
  • Loosening of the teeth
  • Altered denture fit

  • These symptoms can vary in severity in the presence of periodontal disease. However, recognizing them early will ensure that you obtain treatment in time to prevent further damage.

    Related Conditions
    Studies have indicated that the health of your gums can be linked to a risk of heart disease. Heart disease has been recognized as the leading cause of death around the world. Its effects on the heart and blood vessels raise the risk for other health issues.

    Individuals who have periodontal disease have been observed to have a higher risk of heart disease. Predicting both heart disease and levels of cholesterol can be done through the presence of oral health issues such as cavities and gingivitis.

    The presence of bacteria in the blood, which can contribute to disease in the mouth, has also been linked to the presence of atherosclerosis (thickening of the arterial wall) within the carotid artery.

    The health effects of periodontal disease are multiplied when the risk for heart disease increases. Periodontal disease places chronic stress on the body's immune system as it works to fight the bacterial infection. Over time, other systems become compromised as the body is deprived of the necessary recovery during the process.

    Chronic stress is at the root of most diseases. This sheds light on the correlation between periodontal disease and heart disease. Regulating immunity becomes compromised, leading to increased levels of inflammation and cholesterol. It can also cause the leakage of bacteria into the bloodstream, and spreading it throughout the body.

    Taking the necessary steps to prevent periodontal disease decreases the likelihood of developing these secondary health problems. Routine oral care is the foundation for good health, and should be maintained as thoroughly as possible.

    Although most people know the importance of regular brushing and flossing, there are a number of tips and tools that can supplement your routine, and support your long-term oral health.

    Toothbrushes should be replaced routinely. As they become worn, they lose their ability to remove debris and buildup along the gum line. Flossing should be done routinely to ensure that you've addressed existing pockets.

    Specially designed cleaners and rubber-tipped gum stimulators can be used for deep cleaning between the teeth. If you believe you are at risk with early signs of gum disease, investing in these additional tools will give you an additional layer of protection.

    If you're experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease such as bleeding gums or loose teeth, be sure to visit your dental health care provider as soon as possible. You'll be able to monitor changes in condition, while a dental professional guides you through the process of regaining your oral health.

    Periodontal disease has been linked to a number of health issues. Research showing a relationship between oral health and heart disease underscores the need for routine professional dental care.

    Knowing what signs to look for, and understanding the progression of gingivitis to periodontitis will allow you to take proactive steps early and prevent long-term health issues such as heart disease. Good oral health goes beyond having a great smile. It can keep you heart healthy for a long and vital life.

    Accord Dental is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Maria H. Lam, D.M.D. to the team. She will be seeing patients on Saturday's. Dr. Lam is originally from Northern California, she graduated from University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Ecology emphasizing in Biology. Upon graduation, she accepted a position at Children Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) in Blood & Marrow Specialty lab. There she spent her time collecting, processing and transplanting stem cell products for the treatment of cancer. She was an active member of the National Marrow Donor Program and a representative courier for matched products both domestic and international. Two years thereafter, she decided to return to school and pursue Mastership in Biomedical Science at Barry University in Miami. She received her dental school acceptance prior to completing her master and relocated for her dental training at Midwestern University in Arizona. To further her passion in dentistry, she pursued General Practice Residency at the University of Utah the following year. Here she was cross trained under 47 skilled attending for wisdom teeth extractions, implantology, periodontal surgery, IV sedation, molar root canals, crowns & bridges and full mouth reconstruction. Dr. Lam is a member of the American Dental Association, Colorado Dental Association, and Academy of General Dentistry. Currently, Dr. Lam is working on her Fellowship with the Academy of

    General Dentistry and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry through numerous continuing education courses.

    Accord Dental is one of Denver's leading Dental Practices: Dr. Vilner, Dr. Dunker and the newest addition to the team, Dr. Lam, are recognized for their work in preventive, general, and cosmetic dental care. Accord Dental is also the chosen Dentist for the Russian Community in Denver and Aurora, CO. Further information on Accord Dental is available on the Internet at

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