Gum Disease Could Be Linked to Heart Disease

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woman brushing teethMost people don’t usually think of gum disease (periodontal disease) and heart disease (cardiovascular disease) as being related. However, there has been a lot of research done recently to see if they are, in fact, related to one another. Although the evidence isn’t 100% clear just yet, there are many convincing facts that say that they are.

Some of convincing data researchers have found indicates that people with gum disease are twice as likely to also have heart disease. They found that people with higher levels of certain bacteria in the mouth were more likely to have clogging in the carotid arteries which can lead to stroke. Both diseases also involve inflammation, which is another reason why they may be connected. When inflammatory substances are in the blood stream, it seems to worsen heart disease, diabetes, as well as other chronic conditions. If you get rid of gum disease, there are fewer inflammatory substances which might help reduce the risk of these other diseases.  Take the gum disease risk quiz to help you know if you have gum disease.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

If you aren’t sure if you have gum disease, here are some of the most common symptoms:
– Gum redness, pain or swelling
– Bleeding gums after you brush or floss
– Gum recession
– Loose or missing teeth
– Mouth sores
– Chronic bad breath

How Periodontal Treatment Helps

Another study was done on overall health costs after people with periodontal disease went to see a periodontist at least once. Those with periodontal disease as well as either type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, or pregnancy had lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations in a four year period compared to those who were not treated by a periodontist.

The greatest savings were for women who were pregnant. Periodontal disease in pregnant women has been linked to premature births as well as other complications. Getting treatment gives pregnant women a greater chance of carrying their baby full term. People who had heart disease or diabetes with gum disease saved between 20% and 40% of health-care costs when they were treated compared to those who were not treated.

How to Take Care of Our Mouths

The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that adults undergo an annual screening for periodontal disease. However, you should see a periodontist sooner if you have one of the symptoms for gum disease. Some things you can do to help prevent gum disease are to brush twice a day for 2 minutes, floss once a day, replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, avoid smoking and tobacco, and attend your routine dental appointments every 6 months.

Make an Appointment at the CENTER If You Think You Have Gum Disease

If you are showing signs of gum disease, make an appointment today to see Dr. Alexandre-Amir Aalam and Dr. Alina Krivitsky so they can treat it. Gum disease is much easier to treat in its early stages, so please don’t hesitate to call. Dr. Aalam and Dr. Krivitsky are board-certified in treating a variety of gum-related issues and concerns. Make an appointment by calling 310-826-8242 or request an appointment online.

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