Protect Your Heart With A Healthy Mouth
Posted on Jul 30, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
Healthy gums reduce your risk for systemic inflammation and might be good for your heart as well! Through studies, the American Heart Association (AHA) supports that there is an association between periodontal disease and heart disease. Their findings join previous conclusions of the American Academy of Periodontology along with statements published in the American Journal of Cardiology and by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
The relationship between the two diseases seems to be the result of chronic inflammation. Development of cardiovascular disease in some patients can be triggered by the inflammation of gum disease. Like many serious diseases, periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are both complex diseases that develop over time and can stem from a number of factors.
For example, tremendous research has been devoted to breast cancer. Still, no one can say for sure what causes it to develop. Although certain risk factors increase one’s potential, a direct link is unknown. The same dilemma exists with periodontal disease and coronary artery disease. While it’s known that gum disease inflammation triggers a reaction in the coronary system, pinpointing how the process leads to heart disease is yet undetermined.
The American Heart Association points out, however, the association is real and independent of shared risk factors, including smoking, being overweight and a family history of heart disease. Just because we don’t have all the answers at this time, the AHA warns of the increased risk and encourages reducing the potential of developing periodontal disease.
Additional long-term studies are needed to better understand the relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. For now, just know that healthy gums help to minimize harmful inflammation in the body, therefore, reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease.
For those who have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, prompt treatment is advised to restore your gums to a healthy state. Periodontal disease only worsens without treatment and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss, in addition to health risks throughout the body. Early symptoms include gums that bleed easily when brushing, swollen gums that are tender and red, and persistent bad breath.
To learn more, visit the web site of the American Academy of Periodontology: www.perio.org.
Baby Boomers Should Listen To Oral Symptoms
Posted on Jul 27, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
While baby boomers are cautious about some symptoms that can signal serious health conditions, an Academy of General Dentistry survey found that 63% of ages 45 to 64 were unaware that symptoms in their mouths may be linked to a more serious condition.
• Bad breath and bleeding gums can indicate diabetes – The American Diabetes Association reports that 90 to 95% of diabetics suffer from Type 2 diabetes, which usually begins after age 45. Unfortunately, only 29% of the baby boomers surveyed were aware of this connection.
• After the age of 45, the risk of developing heart disease triples. – According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading killer of Americans. While a sore and painful jaw can be a warning sign that a heart attack may be looming, a whopping 60% surveyed did not identify these symptoms as warning signs.
Researchers believe that certain diseases often manifest themselves in the mouth. The survey revealed that 25% of baby boomers, although unaware of the connection of these symptoms, had experienced at least one of the symptoms they ignored.
We encourage patients to share any oral symptom they’ve experienced so we can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy as well as pinpoint areas that may require medical care.
A Fit Body Is Good For Your Oral Health
Posted on Jul 23, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
It is widely known that being overweight puts a strain on the heart, joints, and one’s ability to enjoy good overall health. The alarming estimates from a 2009 study showed that 63.1% of adults in the U.S. were either overweight or obese, with 36.6% as overweight and 26.5% obese.
Now, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researchers have found indications that the risk of gum disease lowers when fat cells decrease. The study measured participants who were obese, with some of the participants undergoing bariatric surgery. All participants were given periodontal treatment along with oral hygiene instructions to follow at home. While both groups showed improvement, the surgery group showed the most favorable results.
It seems that an overabundance of fat cells secrete more cytokines, which make insulin more resistant to proper effectiveness in the body. Thus, more sugar in the blood occurs. A reduction in fat cells makes insulin less resistant and aids in the response to periodontal treatment.
Another benefit relates to how the leptin hormone helps to regulate metabolism. Along with cytokines, leptin has been linked to inflammation. Because leptin production was reduced after bariatric surgery, periodontal treatment was shown to be more effective.
Inflammation from gum disease can erode bone and cause tooth loss. It also makes harmful oral bacteria easier to enter the blood stream. This bacteria has been linked to preterm birth, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.
This shows how intricately your oral health is tied to your overall health, and vice versa. Maintaining healthy gums and keeping your teeth in good condition prevents harmful bacteria from causing inflammation in the body. By the same token, having a healthy body seems to create a better foundation for the gums to battle harmful bacteria when it appears.
Reasons We Hear Why You Are NOT Flossing!
Posted on Jul 20, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS
We’ve heard every excuse under the sun as to why folks don’t, or ‘can’t,’ floss! And for each, the benefits of flossing outweigh the gripes in every instance. Here are some reasons and why each just won’t fly!
“My hands are too big.” Our Response: Floss holders are available. These are especially helpful for people with dexterity problems, such as arthritis sufferers.
“My gums bleed.” Our Response: Gums that are red, swollen, or bleed easily indicate gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease. This should be treated immediately. Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss and will only worsen if not treated.
“I have my teeth cleaned twice a year, so I don’t need to floss.” Our Response: In less than two days, plaque on teeth can turn into calculus. To remove calculus, a professional cleaning is required. The easiest way to prevent calculus is through daily flossing that takes very little time and energy.
“My teeth are too tight for the floss.” Our Response: Waxed or polymer floss is recommended for people with tight spaces between teeth.
“Flossing takes too long.” Our Response: Once you are in the habit of daily flossing and are good at the technique, the time involved is a minute or two. This investment of time can save you much in dental care to repair gum problems and cavities.
“I may damage my gums when flossing.” Our Response: Technique is important and will be reviewed with you during your regular hygiene appointment.
We want to help you become a Super Flosser! Ask for instructions at your next visit! This is too important to NOT do, every day!