The American Dental Association states, after decades of research, it has been firmly established, an association exists between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease and other serious conditions.
Keeping our teeth and gums in tip-top shape is the best course of action for overall health, according to dental professionals like Dr. Carmela Asinas, with The Dentist Of Sioxuland – At Hamilton, in Sioux City.
When we don’t brush, floss and go in for regular checkups, periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can become a problem.
“The CDC reports that 47% of adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease,” said Dr. Carmela Asinas. “And there’s two different stages. So the first stage is gingivitis and that’s the early stage and that’s reversible. At this stage, your gums are red, swollen, bleed easy with brushing and flossing.”
Dr. Asinas says with extra attention and proper care, a person can stop the deterioration of the gums and teeth, before it’s too late.
“The next stage is periodontal disease or periodontitis. This is the stage where the plaque hardens, and this create toxins that eat away at the surrounding bone and tissue. At this stage the damage is irreversible and you need to do something right away with your dentist to help manage it from getting worse,” said Dr. Asinas.
Worse conditions, according to Dr. Asinas, can be tooth loss and other more serious problems.
“So patients with periodontal disease are two to three times more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke. The same bacteria that causes gum disease are also found in the plaques and blockages in the heart arteries. So if this is left untreated, it can lead to a heart attack, or if the plaques break loose, it can lead to a stroke,” said Dr. Asinas.
According to Harvard Medical School, many people with heart disease have healthy gums, and not everyone with gum disease develops heart problems. However, information is mounting that gum disease might be a risk factor for heart disease.
Dr. Asinas says if there are concerns something else might be going on with patients, she and her staff recommend they see a doctor.
“If you keep your mouth and gums healthy, you can also keep the rest of your body healthy so you can keep with everything you need to do in your every day life,” said Dr. Asinas.
Dr. Asinas says the best way to manage and prevent periodontal disease is proper care. Brush twice a day for two minutes, floss, and see your dentist every six months for cleanings and other necessary care.