Explaining the Perio-Heart Connection
San Diego Dentist, Dr. Roya Mirkhan
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately
600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States every year
– that comes to 1 in every 4 deaths. What's more, heart disease
is the leading cause of death for men and women, even beating cancer.
If you're worried about heart disease because it runs in your family
or because you haven't had the best lifestyle habits, you can easily
spend thousands of dollars each year trying to prevent it with gym memberships,
organic produce, juicers, and prescription medications. However, studies
are finding that unless you take care of your oral health, these lifestyle
changes may not be enough. More than anything, you need the care of a
San Diego dentist.
According to Periodontist Sally Cram, DDS, a spokeswoman for the American
Dental Association, there are numerous studies that suggest that oral
health, especially gum disease, are related to serious conditions such
as heart disease. According to the American Academy of Periodontology,
those with periodontal disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart
disease. One study found that the presence of gingivitis, cavities and
missing teeth were as good at predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels.
Gum disease or chronic
periodontitis is a bacterial infection. Due to the bacterial nature of gum disease,
and accumulation of millions of dangerous bacterial species inside the
infected gum pockets of affected patients, the body initiates an inflammatory
response at these sites. This is the body's natural reaction to fight
any bacterial challenge in our body. However, this can lead to leakage
of bacteria into the bloodstream causing systemic involvement of one or
more organs of our body, including our heart.
Several scientific studies published have successfully found a positive
link between gum disease and other systemic conditions, such as respiratory
diseases, diabetes, and premature births.
Preventing Gum Disease