Did you know that more than 85 million Americans suffer from some kind of cardiovascular disease and over 200 million Americans are also coping with some level of gum disease? At the Advanced Prosthetics Institute in Prescott, Arizona, Dr. Jason C. Campbell has been training dental professionals on the importance of understanding the connection between gum inflammation and heart disease to better care for their patients.
This is important because gum disease can indeed affect the heart – cardiovascular disease and stroke and impact the gums. The inflammation of the gums leads to connective tissue breakdown, as well as breaking down the teeth and supportive bone material. Heart disease involves the blockage of vital blood vessels which keeps oxygen flowing through the body. This swelling due to inflammation is actually how the body responds to an infection.
When harmful bacteria from gum inflammation makes its way through the body, it can trigger inflammation there, as the body responds to inflammation from other areas. When this happens, arterial plaque can develop as a result. In fact, according to scientists, the link between gum disease and heart disease is from the same bacteria. This means that when the affected patient brushes their teeth or chews food, this harmful bacteria travel through the bloodstream and makes their way around the body through the circulatory system.
Harmful oral bacteria are found in the fatty tissues of those people afflicted with atherosclerosis, and the deposits, in turn, can either narrow the arteries or come loose altogether and clog the arteries. When this happens, you end up with a heart attack or stroke. So both the American Heart Association and the American Dental Association agree that gum disease can increase the susceptibility to heart disease as a result of the bacteria in gum inflammation narrowing the arteries.
So you can see those research findings indicating that patients with periodontal disease are nearly twice as susceptible to heart disease and that this risk rises for those who also struggle with high cholesterol levels.
Are you wanting to better serve your patient’s oral and systemic health? We invite you to check out our course itinerary in Prescott, Arizona. You can give us a call at 928-776-0239 for more valuable information about our programs and coursework.