Gum disease 'linked to heart problems'
Excellent oral hygiene could prevent heart attacks, by stopping dangerous bacteria entering the bloodstream, a British study shows.
The sheer number of bacteria which can live in an unhealthy mouth – more than 700 strains – increases the risk of heart disease, regardless of how fit a person is. Evidence is now developing that links the oral bacteria of gum disease and chronic teeth infections to increased incidence of heart disease.
The germs create thousands of tiny blood clots, which can cause a narrowing of the arteries, a common cause of attacks. More than 2.5 million people in Britain suffer from heart disease, and one British adult dies from the condition every three minutes.The disease is characterised by the restriction of blood to the organ, which can cause a heart attack.
Studies have previously shown a link between having gum disease and an increased likelihood of suffering from heart disease or a stroke. However, they have struggled to explain why the conditions are linked until now.
The mouth is an easy entry for nasty bacteria. Once inside the blood stream the platelets, which help the blood to clot, latch onto the bacteria. This can cause a blood clot, which can detach and travel to the heart. This is more worrying if the blood clot actually forms on the heart's ventricle."
We now recognise that bacterial infections are an independent risk factor for heart diseases. In other words it doesn't matter how fit, slim or healthy you are, you are adding to your chances of getting heart disease by having bad teeth. Gum disease is the most common reason behind tooth loss in adults, which shows how extremely common it is.
Here are some tips to prevent gum disease and dental problems
For most people, sticking with commonsense tips can head off problems. If you keep your mouth clean, it is very hard for the bacteria that cause periodontal disease to get started. You will also reap other benefits - fewer fillings, healthier gums, and a brighter smile and very importantly fresh breath confidence.
We have always known that a little prevention goes a long way, but we used to think of it in terms of avoiding cavities and things like that. Now it seems that by using your toothbrush and your floss/ mini brushes, you might also be preventing much more serious health problems down the road."
Tip from Dr Karen Gardner - Your dentist in Javea
“I see very many patients who believe that they have good oral hygiene, they think they are doing the job well ,but aren’t actually doing well enough. The only way to be really sure if your oral hygiene is up to scratch is to get checked regularly at least once a year. Most people need a dental clean every 6 months and some every 3 months - depending on their own ability to keep the mouth plaque free and their own personal tendency for gum disease. If you avoid the dentist then there is a very high chance that you unknowingly have bad breath and gum disease – and we now know that gum disease could even be a silent killer.
Here are some photos to show the stages of gum disease :
Article provided by Dr Karen Gardner, of Clinica Dental La Plaza,
Edificio La Plaza, Javea. Tel: 96 646 1120.
If you would like more help or any advice, we welcome you to our clinic for a FREE CONSULTATION.