In the last few years, it has been well documented that gum disease ( periodontal disease) effects more than just the gums. Dr. Jennifer McLeod and her team at Newberg Family Dental realize that periodontal disease will give a person a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, plaque build-up in the arteries and will also make it more difficult to keep diabetes under control.
How Gum Disease and Heart Disease are Related
Gum disease – also known as Periodontal disease or Periodontitis – creates infection and inflamation in the gums that caused by some nasty bacteria that normally live in the mouth. The bacteria give off toxins that destroy the tissue attachment and bone that support the teeth.
Due to the infection process, the blood vessels become fragile, and these nasty bacteria and toxins are allowed to enter the bloodstream and go to other places in the body. The bacteria found in gum tissue have been found clustered with the kind of plaque that clogs arteries leading to and from the heart. Another theory is that as it travels, bacteria triggers an inflammation response, which causes blood vessels to swell and arteries to constrict around plaque, causing a heart attack.
Research done by the American Academy of Periodontology has found that individuals diagnosed with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have heart disease. According to one particular study, the presence of gum disease, cavities, and missing teeth were as accurate at predicting heart disease as tested levels of cholesterol.
Preventing or Treating Both Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Newly released research also shows that if the periodontal disease is reversed and the gums become healthy that the heart disease, stoke risk and diabetes will also reverse and get better. This is huge!
There are many ways to help prevent or treat gum disease that can be easily implemented into every day life, one of which is recommend by Dr. Mehmet Oz himself involving good dental care. Additional steps include:
- Visit your dentist regularly. It’s important to visit Dr. Jennifer McLeod, a dentist in Newberg, Oregon every six months for a dental exam and teeth cleaning. This kind of prevention and treatment can not only reduce potential dental issues, but also help with your overall health.
- Maintain consistent dental health habits. Brush your teeth thoroughly once in the morning and once at night. This will keep plaque from gathering on the surfaces in the crevices of your teeth.
- Floss once a day to ensure the elimination of bacteria from the gumline.
- Change or maintain a diet of lean meats, fresh vegetables and fruit, plenty of water, and low-fat dairy products to lose weight and build muscle.
- Exercise most days of the week, using either cardio or resistance training.