Coronary heart disease, also referred to as killer, is a serious condition that affects millions of Americans each year. According to the National Institutes of Health, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. It occurs the blood vessels surrounding the heart narrows; these are the same blood vessels that continuously provide oxygen and blood to the heart. Heart disease is caused via the buildup of plaque—a pale biofilm—that hardens the arteries. Although most people relate heart disease to an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, coronary heart disease is also related to periodontal disease. Countless studies have shown, then, that regularly brushing and flossing your teeth can prevent heart disease.
The American Dental Association states that the lack of oral health and gum disease are related to serious heart conditions. In addition, the American Academy of Periodontology reports that people with periodontal disease are about twice as likely to have coronary heart disease, and that oral health problems such as cavities and gingivitis are accurate indicators of predicting heart disease and cholesterol levels.
One theory in how gum disease causes heart disease is that bacteria can travel from your mouth into your blood stream. As a result, the bacterium causes swelling and inflammation of blood cells, which narrows arteries and raises the risk of blood clotting. Both the American Dental Association and American Academy of Periodontology state that there is a direct correlation between oral health and heart attacks: people whose gums regularly bleed have higher cholesterol levels and are more prone to experiencing heart attacks.
With such devastating statistics, having regular dentist checkups is essential in maintaining good health. Selective Dentistry, a Corona Del Mar dental office, provides a range of periodontal services to help you avoid higher chances of heart disease. Dr. George Saliba, a long-time Orange County dentist, treats a range of periodontal conditions including moderate to advanced gum disease and localized gum recession, as well as offering emergency dental care services. He also re-contours uneven gum lines and lengthens tooth crowns when necessary.
This year, take care of your heart’s health by not only exercising and maintaining a healthy diet, but taking care of your teeth. Visit your dentist regularly for your oral health checkup.