Karl A. Smith, DDS, LLC
601 Post Office Road
Waldorf, MD 20602
Karl A. Smith, DDS, LLC
2500 N. Van Dorn Street
Alexandria, VA 22302
Fight Back Against Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death. You can fight back by eating healthy; becoming physically active; controlling your high blood pressure or cholesterol; and scheduling a complete gum evaluation by an experienced periodontist.
Periodontal disease, heart disease and stroke may seem to have an unlikely connection, but researchers have found that gum disease sufferers are nearly twice as likely to also suffer from coronary heart disease. In addition, research studies have discovered that oral infection is indeed a risk factor for stroke and other serious health problems.
Oral bacteria affect the heart There are many different strains of periodontal bacteria. Researchers assert that some of these strains of bacteria enter the bloodstream and attach to the fatty plaques in the blood vessels of the heart (coronary arteries). This attachment then contributes to clot formation, causing grave danger to the individual.
Inflammation Periodontal disease causes severe inflammation in the gum tissue, which elevates the white blood cell count.
Infectious susceptibility Indiv-iduals who experience particularly high levels of oral bacteria may have weaker immune systems. These factors may induce specific vascular effects, which have previously been shown to contribute in the onset of certain forms of heart disease.
There is little doubt that the presence of periodontal disease can worsen existing heart conditions.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Since periodontal disease appears to be a risk factor for both heart attack and stroke, it is extremely important to seek immediate treatment with an experienced periodontist. Periodontists are experts in the treatment of oral inflammation, plaque and bacteria as they receive extensive training in these areas during their three additional years of education beyond dental school,and within continuingeducationthroughout their careers. Periodontists are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease.
Initially, the periodontist will conduct thorough examinations to assess the exact condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone. X-rays can be helpful in determining whether bone loss is prevalent in the upper and lower jaw.
The periodontist is also able to conduct deep cleaning treatments to remove hardened calculus (tartar) deposits from the gum pockets. An antibiotic may be prescribed to ensure that the bacteria is completely destroyed and the periodontal infection does not spread to the rest of the body. Antibiotics alone are not enough to treat periodontal conditions but dental treatment along with antibiotics can have the powerto get and keep your body healthy.
Fortunately, you can fight back against heart disease. Visiting a periodontist today to remedy gum disease may be one of the best things you can do to help lower these overall health risks. If you have never had a complete periodontal evaluation or, if it's been a while since your last dental appointment, make one today. Taking care of your teeth and gums will not only help enhance your smile, but will help you feel better and create a healthier lifestyle.