Gum Disease and Heart Health
Healthy gums and teeth are essential for physical, mental, and social health. Statistics from the CDC suggest that 47% of Americans over 30 years of age have some form of periodontal disease. Regular oral hygiene and checkups can prevent gum inflammation and cardiovascular complications.
Regular visits to the dentist are another way to stop gum disease before it becomes a severe problem. Our dentist at Chicago Dental Esthetics will perform tests on your teeth and gums to detect inflammation. If untreated, gum line inflammation can damage the underlying bone, change tooth alignment, and cause cardiovascular problems.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Gum diseases start with an infection of the soft tissue of the gums. Bacteria spread around the teeth and gums where food debris has been accumulating. Failing to brush teeth will cause plaque, eventually developing into a film called tartar or calculus.
How Can Gum Disease Impact Heart Health?
While the research between gum disease and heart health is ongoing, there is evidence to suggest a connection. The American Academy of Periodontology found a relationship between periodontitis and cardiovascular diseases after reviewing numerous studies.
Severe periodontitis can trigger a cardiovascular condition known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries. Bacteria in the teeth can move to the bloodstream, causing inflammation and constricting the heart valves.
Research has indicated correlations between tooth loss patterns and coronary heart disease. The loss of maxillary teeth before age 40 is often a sign of periodontal disease. Scientists believe an infection in the oral cavity could contribute to endothelial cells.
Endothelial cells are responsible for the opening and closing of the blood arteries. The function of endothelial cells may trigger hypertension and cardiovascular complications. Another way cavities and tooth loss can affect cardiovascular health is through poor dietary intake. Loss of teeth can make consuming certain foods much more challenging. Nutritional deficiencies could increase the risk of conditions like hypertension and diabetes.
How Is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?
A dentist examines your oral cavity for bleeding and receding gums. An infected gum line may fail to support the teeth, leading to tooth loss. The diagnosis may also involve checking for plaque and tartar build up to assess the severity of the condition.
The diagnosis process may include examining the gingival crevice using a dental probe to measure the distance between the gum and the tooth's root. Our dentist will check for pockets in multiple locations in the oral cavity.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
The appropriate treatment of gum diseases will depend on the severity of your condition. The treatment options can be categorized as either surgical or non-surgical. A non-surgical process may involve scaling. Scaling is the removal of plaque along the gum line of the tooth. Root planing is another procedure our dentist may perform after the scaling process. It involves smoothing out the surfaces of the tooth’s root to clear grooves where plaque may accumulate. Root planning facilitates the reattachment of the gums to the roots of your teeth.
Contact Chicago Dental Esthetics to learn how gum disease relates with heart health. Give us a call at (847) 677-1119 to book an appointment today.