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Turlock, CA 95382

The Surprising Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Do you have sensitive teeth, difficulty chewing, bad breath or swollen or receding gums? Any one of these symptoms can indicate the beginning of periodontal disease, or gum disease.

Gum disease can devastate your oral health by breaking down your gum and bone tissues. However, you may be surprised that gum disease affects more than your oral health. More and more research is showing that gum disease is linked to heart disease.

Does Gum Disease Cause Heart Disease?

While studies have shown a link, actual causation is yet to be determined. But organizations like the American Heart Association and the American Dental Association recognize that these conditions are tied. But why would these conditions be linked?

Many researchers believe that chronic inflammation from gum disease is possibly one contributing factor to an increase in heart diseases, such as strokes and heart attacks. While inflammation is the body's natural immune response to infection, when chronic inflammation occurs, the body can actually start to attack healthy tissue.

Some researchers believe that as gum disease-related bacteria travel through the body, it can trigger this chronic inflammation, thus leading to the formation of arterial plaque. In fact, some studies have actually found evidence of oral bacteria in the fatty deposits of people with narrowed, clogged or hardened arteries! As you can imagine, narrowed or clogged arteries are one cause of heart issues.

Because heart disease is the leading cause of death, it's vital that both dentists and their patients watch for any possible risk factors, like gum disease.

Are There Other Conditions That Are Linked to Gum Disease?

Again, the question of causation is still being researched, but gum disease has also been correlated to other diseases, for example, some research links gum disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Some scientists believe that gum disease-related bacteria can also trigger inflammation in the brain, while other scientists believe that there is only a correlation because patients with Alzheimer's may have a hard time remembering to perform hygienic tasks, like flossing and brushing.

Osteoporosis is also linked with gum disease. Since this condition weakens bone density, it follows that teeth and jaw bone would be susceptible to gum disease since they may not adequately support gum tissues.

Gum disease is also linked to many other diseases, such as diabetes, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis and even some forms of cancer. Again, causation has not been proved, but the fact that gum disease is associated with so many other serious conditions should motivate anyone with pain in their gums to see a dentist!

Does Gum Disease Have a Cure?

While gum disease can be improved with correct brushing and flossing habits, it can greatly be improved-if not cured-with a dentist's help. Once tartar has hardened, it can only be removed by a dentist's instruments. 

Your dentist will have all sorts of solutions, such as scaling and root planing, tissue regeneration or grafting and pocket irrigating. If the disease has gotten to the point where you need to have teeth extracted, an office such as King Dentistry can set you up with a set of dentures.

Since the jaw bone can become weak without teeth to stimulate it, and dentures are a great way to continue regular chewing so that your bones stay strong. Dentures are created with high-quality acrylics and metals, and the teeth are made to match any of your remaining teeth.

Since gum disease is linked with heart disease and other diseases, it's in your best interest to have your teeth and gums examined at your next dental appointment. Your dentist will make you as comfortable as possible so that you can have a good experience.
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King Dentistry
3061 Geer Road | Turlock, CA 95382

Phone: 209-668-3311
Fax: 209-668-3323
Business Hours:
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
24-hour emergency service

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