It’s no secret that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection. And we know that an infection in the gums, just like any other body part, must be treated and controlled in order to avoid undesirable or painful consequences. However, if you ask any group of periodontists about the impact of periodontal disease, you will find that the infection should be viewed from a much broader perspective.
The field of research regarding the connection between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease has sparked a growing discussion among medical and dental experts in recent years, and it has been beneficial to our overall population. As healthcare professionals are opening the lines of communication with one another (and with their patients), we are seeing evidence that our efforts to manage one disease can lower the potential risk for another disease.
The field of research regarding the connection between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease has sparked a growing discussion among medical and dental experts.
Some research suggests that the bacteria responsible for periodontal disease can contribute to the accumulation of fatty proteins in the arteries, thickening the arterial walls and increasing the risk for a heart attack.
Researchers have also pointed to an increase in inflammation caused by a chronic periodontal infection. The inflammation, over time, has been shown to increase plaque and swelling in the arteries.
Considering the available clinical research and current statistics, there is evidence that periodontal disease can almost double your chances of suffering from coronary artery disease. Unfortunately, there is even more compelling evidence about the link between heart and gum disease. Patients with artificial heart valves and heart defects are more sensitive to infective endocarditis (a serious infection around the heart), and periodontal disease has been shown to exacerbate that condition.
Although as many as 20% of Americans can be expected to suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease during their lifetime, it is possible to manage the disease and reduce the risk of further complications when you are educated about the value of your overall health.
To start, contact Dr. Beth Tomlin today and learn more about your risk for periodontal disease. Call 214-522-9700 to schedule an appointment today.