Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oral Health and Your Heart

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a disease involving the heart and blood vessels. It's the No. 1 cause of death and disability in the United States today, with almost 700,000 Americans dying of heart disease each year.1That represents almost 29% of all deaths in the United States.1
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Heart disease and gum disease have several things in common. For example, inflammation is common in both cases, and inflammation can contribute to narrowing coronary arteries and breaking down the tissue that holds teeth in place.2 Emerging research suggests a possible association between gum disease and CVD, as the oral bacteria of gum disease can enter the bloodstream and cause a defense reaction throughout the body.3,4 Also, bacteria from the mouth can travel to important organs in the body, including the heart, and begin a new infection.4
Treating CVD depends on what form of the disease a patient has. The most effective treatments are always lifestyle changes. Whether CVD development is related to gum disease or not, keeping up with good brushing and flossing habits is essential.

If You're at Risk for CVD...

See a physician and discuss proper ways to prevent it, as well as different possible treatments if you find out you have it.
Also, talk to your dentist or hygienist about gum disease and ask if it's a potential problem for you and your overall health.
Make sure you visit your medical and dental professionals on a regular basis to remain as healthy as possible.

What You Can Do

A Healthy Diet Can Help Decrease Your Risk1:
  • Keep your total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Limit or eliminate extra salt or sodium
  • Reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet

5 Tips to Help Prevent Cardiovascular Problems

  • Abstinence from tobacco use
  • Cardiovascular exercise (aerobics); talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program
  • Healthy eating habits
  • Some medications (discuss with your doctor)
  • Aspirin therapy (talk to your doctor before starting any new medication program)


If you would like to print additional copies of this piece log on to our Web site,www.contemporaryoralhygieneonline.com. You can also personalize copies for your practice on a variety of oral hygiene topics.
References are available at the Contemporary Oral Hygiene Web site.


The content of this guide is for information purposes only. It does not substitute for the dentist's professional assessment based on the individual patient's case.

David L. Kitchen, DDS
9850 Genesee Avenue
Suite 540
La Jolla, CA 92037
Telephone: 858.558.1946

1 comment:

  1. Once oral bacteria enter the body, they may cause inflammation, which in combination with fat deposits can lead to a build up of plaque clogging blood flow and to a build up of blood platelets causing blood clots. These conditions may be responsible for heart attacks, strokes, and other dangerous health conditions. Click here to read more about Gum disease