For Your Dental Health

Dental Health and Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease(CVD) is one of the leading causes of death in the United states and around the world. Approximately one American dies every 37 seconds of cardiovascular disease. Although mortality resulting from CVD has declined during the past decade its prevalence and the risk factors associated with CVD remain high. The 2000 surgeon general’s report on oral health in America recommended prevention strategies and support the concept that “oral health is integral to general health.”

Emerging research stresses on greater attention to be paid to the association between cardiovascular disease and periodontal (gum) disease. Several studies indicate coexistent periodontal disease appears to worsen endothelial function in patients with cardiovascular disease and treatment of periodontal disease may improve endothelial dysfunction in such patients. Endothelial dysfunction may be caused in the body by inflammation. Periodontal disease does cause inflammation of the gums and the supporting bone around the teeth. This eventually leads to bleeding and swelling of the gums resulting in bad breath and infection of the gums and the bone structure in the jaw. Therefore by promoting systemic inflammation, periodontal disease may lead to endothelial dysfunction and in turn lead to cardiovascular disease. Smoking is a high risk factor for gum disease increasing chronic inflammation in the gums and destroying the bone and helps in the bacterial growth. In addition poor oral hygiene and broken fillings and crowns, cavities in the teeth and roots increases the accumulation of plaque and progression of gum disease.

Oral health is a fundamental and foundational part of an individual’s health and well-being, representing far more than simply just a pleasing smile and freedom from pain. It contributes positively to self esteem and personal success and well being. Therefore it is important to keep up with regular dental check-ups to prevent gum disease and to promote good general health.