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30Jan2011

Connections Between Heart Disease and Oral Health

IF YOU’RE ANYTHING LIKE THE REST OF US HERE AT ELIZABETHTOWN DENTAL, you want to take the very best care of your heart, right? Of course! Did you know that you’re defending your heart from disease everyday simply by brushing your teeth? According to Dr. White, “Many recent studies suggest that gum disease and other oral health issues are DIRECTLY related to heart problems.”

A recent study by the American Academy of Periodontology found that people with periodontal disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease as people without it. An additional study found that common oral health problems, such as cavities and missing teeth, are as good at predicting heart disease as are bad cholesterol levels! Are you surprised?

While there is much to be learned about these connections, the evidence is mounting each year. Dr. White adds, “Bacteria can enter your bloodstream through your gums and then turn into blockages.” Oral bacteria traveling through your bloodstream can cause blood cells to swell, which can lead to narrowing of arteries and clot risks.

There are other theories that also revolve around your body’s defenses against bacteria, including the natural response of inflammation.

There is definitely a connection between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease, though the exact relationship is still unclear. However, DON’T use this as an opportunity to ignore all of the other things you can do to keep your heart healthy. Keep eating healthy, exercise regularly, and take care of risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Clear up any problems you may have now! The longer you wait, the harder it is to provide solutions.

If you have any other questions,  don’t hesitate to contact us. We love visiting with you—our friends and patients.

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We look forward to the next time we see you. Thanks.

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