Previous studies have found the incidence of heart disease is about twice as high in people with periodontal (gum) disease, but until recently no plausible cause had been suggested. Now studies indicate that the most common strain of bacteria in dental plaque may cause blood clots. When blood clots escape into the bloodstream, there is a relation to increased risk of heart attacks and stroke.
People with periodontal disease (over one half of the adult population) have an infection that causes chronic inflammation of the gums. A recent study describes the association between heart disease and gum disease to be at least as strong as the linkage of heart disease to cholesterol, body weight, or smoking.
Are You at Risk For
This quick quiz can tell you
Do you smoke?
Is your diet low in important
Are you currently taking medications such as heart medications, antidepressants, or oral contraceptives?
Do family members have gum
Are you under a great deal of stress?
Are your gums pulling away from your teeth and receding?
Noticed changes in the way your teeth fit together?
Do you have bad breath?
Are you pregnant?
Do you have diabetes?
Do you grind or clench your teeth?
Do your gums bleed when brushing or flossing?
Do you have teeth that appear to be loosening?
Have you recently lost any teeth?
If you have checked off two or more disease indicators you may be at risk for periodontal disease. Please ask your dental professional to measure your gum pockets and check for infection.
There is nothing more important to your dental health than maintaining a clean mouth. Prevention or absence of infection optimizes general health. A clean mouth will be disease, infection, and trouble free. A clean mouth will not be predisposed to developing either decay or periodontal disease. One of our very important functions in dentistry is to teach you how to properly maintain your teeth and gums, and to regularly remove anything that you are unable to remove yourself.
The theory and practice of preventative dentistry has undergone revolutionary changes in recent years. We know now that preventative needs of every individual differ. The advantage of “see your dentist regularly” to get your teeth cleaned twice a year has changed too.
Your Personal Plan
The examination interval that we recommend for you is designed for your unique situation. And it, too, can change. The interval between regular prophylaxis (cleaning) appointments that is established for you is a function of many factors, including your personal health, age, dental history, etc.