As we mentioned in a previous post on the connection between oral health and diabetes, staying healthy requires more than changing your eating habits to a more nutritious diet, with a bit of exercise on the days you “feel like it”. The research we mentioned in that Dental Health Blog post continues to reinforce the relationship between the health of your mouth and the health of your body.

In an article at the EverydayHealth.com website, the correlation between oral health and overall health is clearly outlined. Though the “nature of this link still isn’t clear — researchers have yet to conclude whether the connections are causal or correlative — what is certain is that the condition of your mouth is closely tied to your overall physical health.” This connection between oral health and your body affects those with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even complications in pregnancy.

Oral Health and Heart Disease

The article continues illustrating the connection between oral health and body health, in this case, the relationship to heart diseases. “The connection between poor oral health and cardiovascular conditions has been recognized – the two are often found together – but it still hasn’t been determined conclusively whether or not there is a direct causal relationship between them. (One reason is that there are a number of other potential risk factors — such as smoking and old age — that can lead both to gum disease and heart disease.)”

“However, in a 2005 study funded by the NIH [National Institutes of Health], 1,056 randomly selected participants with no prior heart attacks or strokes were evaluated for levels of periodontal bacteria. After removing the effects of the other risk factors of age, gender, and smoking, it was found that there was an independent relationship between gum disease and heart disease, says Moise Desvarieux, MD, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School and lead author of the study.”

“’One theory about why this may occur, says Dr. Desvarieux, is that small amounts of bacteria enter your bloodstream while you’re chewing. [So called] “Bad” bacteria from an infected mouth may lodge itself inside blood vessels, ultimately causing dangerous blockages.’ Strengthening his theory is the fact that when scientists have looked at atherosclerotic blood vessels, they have sometimes found fragments of periodontal bacteria. Meanwhile, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 established that aggressive treatment of gum disease reduces the incidence of atherosclerosis within six months.”

The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.

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