Studies have shown that there is a link between cardiovascular disease and periodontal (gum) disease. Forms of gum disease, such as gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontitis (bone loss), can be indicators for cardiovascular problems.
It has been suggested that the bacteria associated with gum disease enter into a persons bloodstream and can cause various affects on the cardiovascular system. In the February 2005 issue of Circulation, a study was published that examined the presence of bacteria known to cause periodontitis along with the bacteria typically seen to thicken the blood vessel wall in heart disease. Over 650 participants were sampled and it was concluded that the presence of the same bacteria known to cause periodontitis was associated with an increased level of blood vessel thickening.
It is important to make sure that all of your medical professionals are up-to-date on your oral and overall health issues. If you have been diagnosed with a form of periodontal disease or have any issues with gum inflammation, be sure to let your physician know. Likewise, be sure to inform your dentist if you have been diagnosed with or have any family history of cardiovascular disease.
It is essential to be practicing oral hygiene in order to keep your gums healthy. Flossing regularly, brushing twice daily, and visiting a dentist at least every six months is the best way to keep your oral health in the best shape it can be. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help to improve both your cardiovascular health and your overall health as well.
1. Visit your dentist on a regular basis
2. Practice good oral hygiene at home
3. Keep your dentist informed of any oral and overall health issues
(AGD Impact December 2009 Page 31)