Unfortunately, most people still do not know how oral health is related to overall health. Surely, the correlations between a healthy body and a healthy set of teeth are clear to your dentist. Dr. Jamie Sands says ¨the mouth is the mirror of your health¨, while a number of health experts believe that strong oral health care does more than prevent dental issues.
Today, scientists are researching on the association between oral health and disease. In particular, inflammation has been found to play an important role in a number of harmful health conditions, which include heart disease and gum disease. Scientists believe these diseases are interrelated, and the hope to find this correlation. The study will lead to understand whether treating the inflammation caused by gum disease can improve other diseases.
This is important for several reasons. About 30% to 50% of American adults have mild to moderate gum disease (gingivitis). This still hard for us to hear. Another 5% to 15% have more severe diseases. This is disappointing, as most of this cases can be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly. We hope you are more likely to listen to your dentist after having read this.
Every time you brush or floss bacteria get released into the blood stream, and according to one theory bacteria in the blood stream will end up in specific areas, including those where plaque begins to form in the arteries. There are other theories, including one that involves the body’s response to inflammation. When gums are inflamed, theorists believe the body releases certain chemicals into the bloodstream that help fight infection.
Only recently researchers have been able to find a link between inflammation, heart disease, and oral health. Periodontal disease, which is a more serious form of gingivitis, fits into this well. Due to the fact that gum disease can be hidden under the gums, it is easily overlooked. Surprisingly enough, people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease, according to recent studies. Other studies have shown that having gum disease increases the risk for a stroke.
In light of this information one can ask if treating periodontal disease will lower the risk for heart disease and other conditions. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed 120 patients with severe periodontal disease. Six months after receiving treatment, researchers found lower levels of inflammation.
We hope you are more likely to take care of your teeth, and remember Healthy teeth means a healthy body.