Great Dental Health is More than Just a Pretty Smile

Research has found a connection between heart conditions and periodontal disease.

Research has found a connection between heart conditions and periodontal disease.

It’s natural to be concerned with how your smile impacts the rest of your appearance, but the condition of your smile has a lot to do with the rest of your health as well. If there is a history of heart disease in your family, or if you are at an increased risk for heart problems, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your oral health. Over the years, many clinical studies have been performed to examine the connection between heart conditions and periodontal disease. Researchers have also uncovered relationships between periodontal disease and these health conditions:

  • dementia
  • diabetes
  • premature birth
  • certain autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis

Doctors and researchers are still working to determine the exact link between periodontal disease and systemic health problems, but there is a strong indication that inflammation is to blame. The inflammation caused by periodontal disease could be responsible for a widespread inflammatory response in the body, and this inflammation could potentially aggravate existing conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Even as the scientific community continues to investigate, here’s what we know for sure:
Gum disease starts with plaque, a sticky film that is loaded with bacteria. As the film of plaque builds up and turns into tartar on your teeth, the gums soon become tender, red, and inflamed. You may also experience bleeding and the tarter buildup will become more easily visible in your smile.

As the disease progresses the bone support around each tooth weakens and the gum tissue begins the irreversible process of recession. This condition can persist for many months or years, disrupting the immune system and destroying the support system for the teeth. Ultimately, without professional care and a significant change in home oral hygiene, the teeth will become loose or fall out.

Don’t sacrifice your great smile or sabotage the rest of your health. Saint Charles residents can take control by contacting a dental office to schedule an appointment today.