Most people do not know about the correlations between a healthy body and a healthy set of teeth. Many Los Angeles dentists actually see the mouth as a mirror of your health, and a number of health experts believe that strong oral health care does more than prevent tooth decay.
Today, scientists are studying the association between oral health and disease. In particular, inflammation has been found to play an important part in many harmful health conditions, including heart disease and gum disease. Scientists hope to understand how these diseases are interrelated, and whether treating the inflammation caused by gum disease can improve other diseases.
There are a number of reasons why this is meaningful. About 30% to 50% of American adults have mild to moderate gum disease. This still disappoints us to hear. Another 5% to 15% have more severe disease. This is unfortunate, as most cases can be controlled by brushing and flossing regularly. We hope you are more likely to listen to your Los Angeles dentist after having read this.
It has only been in the recent past that a link has been found between inflammation, heart disease, and oral health. Periodontal disease fits into this well. Because gum disease can be hidden under the gums, it is easily be overlooked. It is surprising to hear that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease, according to recent reports. Other studies have shown that having gum disease increases the risk for a stroke.
Every time you brush or floss bacteria get released into the blood stream, and according to one theory bacteria in the blood stream can end up in specific areas, such as where plaque begins to form in the arteries. There are other theories, including one that involves the body’s response to inflammation. When gums are inflamed, the body releases certain chemicals into the bloodstream that help fight infection.
The next question Los Angeles dentists want answered is whether treating periodontal disease will lower the risk for heart disease and other conditions. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at 120 patients with severe periodontal disease. Six months after receiving treatment, researchers found lower levels of inflammation.
Now that you have read this, we hope you are more likely to take care of those teeth. Stay tuned for more from your Los Angeles dentist.