Dentist in Methuen Discusses New Evidence Linking Heart Disease and Gum Disease
If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, then you’re twice as likely to also have heart disease than those without gum disease. New findings have strengthened the link between the health of your mouth and the health of your cardiovascular system, however, the exact reasoning is still unclear.
Of course, there has been speculation about what that exact connection is, including a suspected commonality between inflammation in both of these conditions. If you are diagnosed with gum disease or periodontal disease, chewing and tooth brushing can release bacteria into your bloodstream. There are several species of bacteria that cause gum disease, which have been found in the cholesterol-laden plaque that clogs arteries in people with heart disease.
The newest study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, used data gathered from 339,000 people with periodontal disease and one of five conditions: type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease (stroke), rheumatoid arthritis, or pregnancy. Except for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, all of the participants who had at least one periodontal disease treatment had lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations within four years of treatment compared with people who weren't treated.
Even though researchers are still trying to find the exact connection between gum disease and heart disease, it is still quite obvious that treating gum disease reduces the body’s burden of infection and inflammation. It seems that by treating gum disease, people’s bodies respond better to treatments for other health conditions, like heart disease. It seems to be a no-brainer that our overall health is dependent on our oral health as well.
In order to treat periodontal disease, your dentist in Methuen will begin by cleaning the teeth above and below the gum line in a procedure known as scaling and root planing. We will use scalers as an instrument to scrape away hardened plaque, but don’t worry because we’ll provide a local anesthesia in order to reduce any pain or discomfort.
With all of the current evidence that suggests treating gum disease will lessen complications from cardiovascular disease, we encourage our patients to inform us of their medical history. It’s important for all of our patients to visit their dentist in Metuchen for twice yearly cleanings, but we especially encourage patients with a history of cardiovascular disease to do so.