Your Oral Health and Heart Disease – What’s the Connection?

Posted: February 22, 2015   General News

Bakersfield, CA – Did you know that failing to take proper care of your teeth and gums doesn’t just damage your mouth, but could have a negative impact on your overall health? Studies have shown that patients who suffer from periodontal (gum) disease have a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, and several other health conditions.

February is American Heart Health Month, and it’s time we start talking about these links more. For years we’ve thought there was a link between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease. And study after study has proven that to be true. Our patients need to know and understand this correlation so they can ensure their mouths, and the rest of their bodies, are healthy.

Periodontal disease is a progressive and chronic disease that affects millions of adults. It is primarily caused by a bacterial infection due to an unhealthy balance of bacteria which colonizes in the dental biofilm below the gum line. Your specific host response to oral infection increases the inflammatory burden throughout the entire body. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to a range of oral and systemic risks and health consequences.

Managing the oral contribution to total body inflammation is crucial and a responsibility that I, and my entire team of dental health professionals, take seriously. The thorough and comprehensive Periodontal Risk Assessment we provide is the cornerstone of our patient-centered care and will enable you to make treatment decisions based upon your personal level of risk.

Well-established research also shows that systemic diseases, including heart disease, have oral manifestations. This is why it is important to share your complete medical history with me and also your dental hygienist. Everything in your body is closely related, so it’s important that we know any other health issues. It can also be helpful for doctors and dentists to work together in determining the best treatment plan to help patients who suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health issues.

Prevention and health promotion are the foundations to our dental and dental hygiene practice. Keeping your particular risk factors in mind will help us personalize your care as we treat you, the person, and not just your mouth. Please feel free to discuss any aspect of your care as it relates to a healthy mouth and a healthy life with me and your dental hygienist.

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