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Dr. Laura Matin, DDS
Gum Disease
Posted on 3/20/2017 by Dr. Laura Matin
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect conditions outside your mouth. In heart disease, one theory is that gum disease can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream where they attach to the fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels. This condition can cause blood clots and may lead to heart attacks.

Overall the data indicates that chronic gum disease may contribute to the development of heart disease, the nation's leading cause of death in both men and women. Researchers have found that people with periodontal (gum) disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. The risk may be even greater than for those with high cholesterol.

Scientists suspect the link between the two diseases is due to the same bacteria that is found in infected gum tissue around the teeth and break down the barrier between gums and connective tissue, causing inflammation. During normal chewing or brushing, bacteria can enter your bloodstream and move to the circulatory system, contributing to the formation of cardiovascular disease.

Oral bacteria have been found in the fatty deposits of people with atherosclerosis. There fatty deposits can narrow arteries or break loose and clog them entirely, leading to a heart attack or stroke. French scientist Mattia et al found higher combined levels of decay, gum disease and abscesses more frequently with patients of recent heart attacks. Grau and colleagues report a 400% increase in stroke risk associated with gum disease. The surgeon general's report on oral health states that good oral health is integral to general health .
Patients often don't understand, or simply ignore the warning markers of periodontal disease. Initial symptoms of gum disease are often silent. Most signs and symptoms do not appear until the later stages.

The American Academy of Periodontology lists the signs of periodontal disease as the following:
•  Red, swollen or tender gums
•  Gums bleed while brushing or flossing
•  Gums that are receding or pulling away
•  Loose or separating teeth
•  Pus between the gums and teeth
•  Persistent bad breath
•  Sores in the mouth
•  A change in the way your teeth fit together
A change in the fit of partial dentures

It is important to see your Dentist regularly for a proper exam and cleaning. Follow your Dentist or hygienist's advice on how to properly care for your teeth and gums at home. If you have heart disease make sure your Dentist knows you have a heart problem, and carefully follow your Physicians and Dentist’s instructions, and use prescription medications, such as antibiotics, as directed.

Your dentist plays an integral part, along with yourself, in helping you keep your health and your teeth!

References:
•  Dentistry IQ- Robert Gregg 11 DDS January 2017
•  Harvard Health Publication Julie Corliss July 2014
•  Jada, volume 137 October 2006
•  Colgate.com/ Oral Care Center







Have you ever noticed someone else's gorgeous smile and wondered how you could improve yours too?
Dr. Laura Matin and her staff are here to help you achieve your ideal smile. With today's advances in porcelain veneers, tooth whitening and implant dentistry, we can make a real and dramatic difference in the way you look and the way you feel about your smile. We also offer general dentistry to your whole family. Call us today.





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