Understand the Perio-Heart Connection

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

At our office, Dr. Mirkhan specializes in the prevention and treatment of gum disease and is an advocate in educating patients about perio-heart connection and new treatment guidelines. For more information go to www.perio.org and click on Heart Patients.

If you are concerned that you may be suffering from gum disease, get in touch with our award-winning dentist for specialized care in San Diego, CA.

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