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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Karl A. Smith, DDS, MS
Get a Life a Healthier One
Karl A. Smith, DDS, LLC
. http://www.drkarlsmith.com/

Get a Life a Healthier One

Heart Risks and

Periodontal Disease

Each year, cardiovascular disease kills more Americans than cancer. We know that lifestyle choices such as eating right, getting enough exercise and quitting smoking can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Did you know that by just brushing and flossing your teeth each day, and seeing a periodontist for a routine screening that you might also be avoiding this potentially lethal condition? In fact, you might avoid many unhealthy conditions.

The number of people with heart disease continues to increase each year. In one study researchers looked at 150 individuals with periodontal diseases and found that the total amount of bacteria in the mouth was higher in individuals that have suffered from an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).

The second study found that the same DNA from different kinds of bacteria in the mouth and the plaque on your teeth was also located in the patients' heart arteries. What it means is that researchers now have findings to show bacteria can travel from your mouth, through your blood or saliva, and fix itself into places such as your heart and arteries. A periodontist can help you to determine if this is happening in your body.

Periodontal Health and Diabetes

Diabetes affects approximately 285 million people worldwide, and this number is only expected to increase.

Management of periodontal disease can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes and can also help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels. Studies have suggested there is a two-way relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease.

Your dentist should conduct annual check-ups for symptoms of periodontal disease such as swollen or red gums, or bleeding during tooth brushing; and educate their patients with diabetes about the implications of the condition on oral health, and especially periodontal health.

Periodontal Disease and


The health of your gums may also affect the health of your baby-to-be. About half of women experience pregnancy gingivitis. This condition can be uncomfortable and cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. Conversely, a more advanced oral health condition called periodontal disease (a serious gum infection that destroys attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold teeth in the mouth) may affect the health of your baby.

A relationship exists between periodontal disease and preterm, low birth weight babies. In fact, pregnant women with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that's born too early and too small. The likely culprit is a labor-inducing chemical found in oral bacteria called prostaglandin. Very high levels of prostaglandin are found in women with severe cases of periodontal disease.

Why Should Everyone

See a Periodontist?

Periodontitis is a silent infection. Many people can go undiagnosed for years. It is believed that an evaluation by a periodontist should be recommended to anyone over the age of 21. This exam will not only identify periodontal disease but will find factors that put you at risk for future disease and other health related issues.

A periodontal examination should be a part of your normal health routine just like a colonoscopy or a mammogram. Schedule your visit right away you'll be glad you did.

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