fotolia_28128322_xsIn today’s health conscious world, there is an increasing focus on maintaining a healthy mind as well as body. Studies now show just how complex our bodies are and how important daily maintenance is. One topic that I find very interesting and important is the link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Cardiovascular disease affects more than 80 million people in the United States alone. It can present itself in the form of high blood pressure, heart attacks, angina pectoris, strokes or even heart failure. Periodontal disease, in the dental world is also incredibly prevalent. Periodontal disease is the chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissues. Periodontal or gum disease can involve gingivitis (the inflammation of the gum tissue) or periodontitis (the loss or recession of bone aroud the teeth). So what’s the connection? Recent studies have found that the bacteria and inflammatory proteins that are present in gum disease are associated with an increase of blood vessel wall thickening, which is often found in cardiovascular disease. The theory is that the bacteria and inflammatory proteins found in the mouths of people with periodontal disease make their way to the blood stream where they begin to affect the cardiovascular system. How does this effect you? Having good oral health is something we should all strive for, however, if you are at risk for, or have a family history of cardiovascular disease then you should be even more diligent with your oral hygiene. That means flossing and brushing regularly and seeing your dentist at least every 6 months. If you have periodontal disease be sure to tell your physician as well.]]>