Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart

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For years now, doctors have known that gum disease and heart disease are linked, but they continue to remain unable to reach an agreement on the exact reasons behind this connection. Heart disease patients so often find dentists in Las Vegas and receive the news that their dental health is also extremely poor. It’s hard not to see bad dental health as a contributing factor since high cholesterol and poor diet are also commonly associated with heart disease.

 

Unfortunately, heart disease is at the top of the nation’s largest killers. According to the American Heart Association, in 2004 alone 450,000 lives were taken due to complications with heart disease. Although it’s unknown how many of those deaths are linked to gum disease, it can be speculated that the numbers would be high. Especially since 85% of people over age 65 and probably half of people younger than that have some form of periodontal (gum) disease.

 

It is suspected that a substance produced in the body called high sensitivity C-reactive-protein (hs-CRP) may play a role in the link between gum disease and heart disease. Acute gum disease increases the amount of hs-CRP in the bloodstream, which is a natural response to inflammation caused by injury or infection. The American Heart Association says hs-CRP may also signal an increased risk for heart attacks.


Gum disease can sneak up on patients without any warning signs and the only way to prevent it is by proper diet, brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentists in Las Vegas regularly. The most important of these is to visit your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and exams, especially for those at risk for heart disease because of high cholesterol and issues with weight and diet. Although the research continues to find out more about the effects of gum disease on the heart, the warning signs and correlation is clear enough to warn those that there is a link between a healthy mouth and healthy heart. This just goes to show that the body’s overall health really is dependent on each individual part and function.

 

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