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Heart Disease and Oral Health
For some time now, scientists and doctors have indicated that a connection lies between poor oral health and heart disease. According to an article by Harvard Health Publishing, more studies have shown that people with poor oral hygiene, especially cases of gum disease and tooth loss, have higher rates of cardiovascular problems, than those with good oral health. However, the evidence is not strong enough to link the two conditions. However, Vita Dental Spring advises you to maintain oral health for general body health.
Why Would Heart Disease Be Connected to Poor Oral Health?
Unfortunately, evidence to support this connection is inconclusive. However, this is no way an excuse to ignore your oral health. Vita Dental Spring insists on the maintaining of oral hygiene, whether it is related to cardiovascular disease or not. Some of the theories that have been put forward in the Harvard Health Publishing Article include:
- The bacteria that affects the gums and causes oral diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis also travels to the blood vessels, where it causes inflammation. The damage extends to the formation of blood clots which results in heart attacks or stroke. This idea is proven valid by the finding of bacteria remnants within atherosclerotic blood vessels located far from the mouth.
- Another theory suggests that the presence of unwanted oral bacteria in the body causes an inflammatory immune response, that affects the vascular system in the body. In this case, rather than the bacteria setting off the problem, the body’s immune response does.
- While there may be no direct connection between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease, some people suggest that the reason they occur together is due to a third factor such as smoking. Smoking is known to contribute to both oral and cardiovascular diseases. Other contributing factors may include the lack of access to proper healthcare, lack of insurance, lack of and inadequate exercise, and general body negligence.
According to an article in the American Heart Association, there is no conclusive evidence linking periodontitis to arteriosclerosis. People with periodontitis have risk factors that increase their chances of developing heart and blood vessel issues. However, no verified link has existed between the two conditions.
The American Heart Association also states that risk factors such as smoking, age, and diabetes, contribute to inflammation in the body. These shared risk factors increase the chances of developing oral and cardiovascular conditions simultaneously. Unfortunately, the evidence is not strong enough to suggest that good oral hygiene practices reduce the chances of having a stroke or heart attack.
Who Is at Risk?
Patients with chronic gingivitis and periodontal diseases have the highest risk of developing heart diseases. Whether the current theories turn out to be true or not, it is wiser to be safe. Taking care of your oral health will ensure that you do not develop further complications. It is also advisable to avoid habits that increase the occurrence of oral and heart disease simultaneously such as smoking. To make sure that your mouth is healthy, visit Vita Dental Spring.
What are the Signs to Look Out?
- Red, swollen gums that are sore to the touch.
- Gums that bleed when you eat, brush or floss.
- Pus and other signs of infection around the teeth and gums.
- Having gums that appear detached from the teeth.
- Frequent bad breath and bad taste in the mouth.
- Loss of teeth within their respective sockets.
Benefits of Proper Oral Care
However, even without conclusive evidence, maintaining good oral hygiene is of paramount importance. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy will prevent abscess formation and tooth loss. Optimal dental care includes:
- Seek professional dental care, at least every six months
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily
- Regularly floss your teeth
- Making sure your dentures fit properly
- Avoiding foods that are detrimental to your oral health
What Should You Tell Your Dentist if you have Cardiovascular Disease?
First, make sure that you give your dentist a detailed medical history, and inform them of any medication and dosages you are taking for your cardiovascular disease. It will help your dentist at Vita Dental Spring decide on the best medicine to administer during and after procedures. In case you feel that you have forgotten details, give your primary physician’s contact. The dentist can also ask for your records.
Second, if you are worried about undergoing a dental procedure, and feel nervous, talk to your dentist. Your blood pressure stabilizes within a reasonable range, and if you are too worried, the dentist can administer a stronger anesthetic until the procedure is complete.
In conclusion, a concrete link between poor oral health as a contributor to cardiovascular disease is yet to materialize. However, if the connection becomes verified in the future, it is wise to be safe than sorry. Proper oral health practices are essential to keep the teeth and gums safe and ensure that you can eat adequately to take care of the rest of the body. Visit Vita Dental Spring today for professional oral health assistance.