Your Healthy Smile and Heart Disease

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013, 11:19 pm

More research about your healthy smile and heart disease has been completed. Researchers at Columbia University have shown, for the first time, that as gums get healthy, the progression of heart disease atherosclerosis, narrowing of the arteries because of plaque buildup, slows down. 

This study is important because the atherosclerosis progressed at the same rate with the gum disease and the bacterial profiles in the gums. “This is the most direct evidence yet that modifying the periodontal bacterial profile could play a role in preventing or slowing both diseases,” said Dr. Moise Desvarieux, the lead author of the study.

Researchers discovered that even small changes to the health of the gums had a similar response in the health of the carotid arteries. “Our results show a clear relationship between what is happening in the mouth and thickening of the carotid artery, even before the onset of full-fledged periodontal disease,” said co-author Dr. Panos N. Papapanou. “This suggests that incipient periodontal disease should not be ignored.”

Researchers are still unclear as to why bacteria in the mouth involved in gum disease can affect heart health. Animal studies suggest that the bacteria are linked to inflammation and may trigger an immune response that causes the damage.

The bottom line – keep brushing and flossing! Good oral health is good for your overall health. Active gum disease is linked to other diseases including diabetes.

If it has been a while since your last dental cleaning please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439. Working together we can keep your smile, and you, healthy for years to come!

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Category: gum disease

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