While not particularly alien, dentistry as a medicinal field is still unfamiliar to several people. Some people even believe that dentistry is all about aesthetics—the likes of a local dentist in Holborn works tirelessly to keep teeth and gums healthy and in doing so, make those teeth and gums look good Is that true? Is good dental health confined solely to your mouth?
The answer is no. A recently concluded study has identified a rather disturbing link between gum disease and heart attacks, and the evidence is pretty conclusive. Researchers from the University of Granada have shown that the extent and severity of gum disease is related to an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction, aka heart attacks, after studying 112 patients who have suffered from the latter.
The purported connection between gum disease and cardiovascular issues is not a new concern, though it certainly gained ground in terms of popularity just recently. One study involving mice was one of those that put the link into the spotlight, wherein researchers infected mice with four gum disease-causing bacteria. Once the bacteria made their way into the mice’s cardiovascular systems, the scientists measured levels of heart attack risk factors (i.e. cholesterol and inflammation) and discovered an increase in their levels.
The question is: how did the bacteria find their way to the mice’s hearts when they’re supposed to do damage in the mouth? One theory suggests that the blood from a severe gum infection is the answer: when the gum tissue is damaged, bacteria can directly enter the bloodstream via the mouth. Once inside, they can easily make their way into the heart, sticking like glue to the arteries and aiding in the formation of blood clots.
Fortunately, gum disease can be treated via surgical or non-surgical means. A common non-surgical method is a typical dental cleaning session, wherein a qualified Holborn dentist will physically remove plaque and tartar that have built up on the teeth. Once removed, the plaque and tartar can no longer do further damage since the bacteria in them are kept out of your gums’ way, preventing the latter from being infected.
If the case is worse than expected, surgical treatments are the better option. One method is called flap surgery, which goes deeper by directly cleaning teeth roots and repairing the bone damage wrought by the infection. Flap surgery is recommended if the condition cannot possibly be cured by simple cleaning alone.
Gum disease is a potent illness, and with its link to heart issues, things just escalated to a new level. Once signs of gum disease present themselves, it is critical to visit a clinic such as the Travers Dental Clinic for appropriate treatment.
(Source: Severe Gum Disease ‘Increases Risk Of Massive Heart Attacks, IBTimes.co.uk, January 14, 2015)