Most people are aware of the importance of visiting their general dentist in Anchorage or indeed anywhere else in the world, but not everyone knows that this is because their heart health might be on the line. According to the experts at Perio.org;
“Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.”
If you are choosing to neglect your dental health, you could be making yourself vulnerable to heart conditions that you never suspected might affect you and all because you missed your biannual checkups.
What is it about gum disease and dental care that could end up leading to a condition such as a heart attack? A study was recently conducted at Columbia University that shows the answer could lie in atherosclerosis, which is the plaque buildup within the arteries of the heart. This buildup, as the experts say, increases the likelihood that a person will suffer from a heart attack or stroke; conditions that could both lead to death. Catharine Paddock explains;
“These results are important because atherosclerosis progressed in parallel with both clinical periodontal disease and the bacterial profiles in the gums. This is the most direct evidence yet that modifying the periodontal bacterial profile could play a role in preventing or slowing both diseases.”
The study was conducted on 450 adults who were aged between 60 and 76. To conduct the study, researchers inspected both the oral infections present, as well as the thickness of the arteries to determine whether there was a correlation over the period of 3 years. The results of this study indicated that individuals with an improved gum health were less likely to show an advanced progression of atherosclerosis, which is reason enough to visit your general dentist in Anchorage on a more regular basis.
As with any study, there are always extenuating factors that could end up affecting the results of the study, and with this one, the factors included diabetes, cholesterol levels, smoking and body mass index. When the results were adjusted to compensate for these factors, however, they didn’t alter all that much, which goes to show that a strong correlation does exist between dental health and heart health.
It is not only the likelihood of a heart attack that is decreased through improved dental hygiene; it is also the likelihood of a stroke that decreases, making it all the more appealing. The bacteria that is rampant within the mouth due to poor health hygiene can quite easily slip into the blood stream and start triggering clots; something that can be avoided by maintaining healthy dental hygiene.
What Does This Mean?
For many years, people have thought of gum disease as nothing more than an irritation, but this is changing. These days, professionals are becoming more and more aware of the dangers associated with ignoring conditions such as periodontal disease. This includes the importance of regularly visiting your general dentist in Anchorage so that they can conduct inspections and catch problems early. At this point in time, it is vital that medical professionals continue to educate people so that they can become familiar with the importance of healthy mouth maintenance.
At this point in time, the best defense against these life threatening conditions is to ensure that you know how to care for your teeth, which is why you need to visit your dentist twice a year and follow the instructions they give you when it comes to taking care of your teeth.