“People should be more aware of the link between severe gum disease and heart disease”
We think that it is probably fair to say that if we were to mention to people that severe gum disease can be a significant cause of cardiovascular disease, then they would, to say the least, be rather surprised. Not to say astounded. But it is true. In fact this worrying connection was the subject of a high level conference held between dental and heart experts in Madrid only last month. Representatives from the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) and the World Heart Federation (WHF) reviewed the evidence linking cardiovascular diseases and gum diseases (periodontitis).
The conclusion of the meeting was that, “More awareness is needed of the link between oral health and cardiovascular disease”.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death across the world, while severe gum disease is the sixth most common chronic condition. Evidence suggests that patients with severe gum disease are at a greater risk of heart attack and stroke.
This is because bacteria in the mouth can move into the circulatory system and promote inflammation and hardening of the arteries. Severe gum disease and heart disease also share common risk factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption and diabetes.
At Carisbrook we are fully aware of this potentially dangerous link and as part of our routine dental examinations we always pay particular attention to the condition of our patient’s gums. We always maintain that prevention is better than cure, but catching gum disease at an early stage is infinitely preferable to letting it develop into something more serious … and potentially fatal.
We recommend that in order to avoid serious gum disease and early gum disease you should pay attention to our cleaning advice, which is to brush your teeth twice a day – as soon as you get up in the morning and again last thing before you go to bed. Spend at least two minutes cleaning your teeth and be sure to use a medium bristle brush with fluoride toothpaste. As part of our hygiene advice also advise regular flossing to clean in between your teeth and the occasional mouthwash.
Our most important advice though is to ensure that you attend regular check ups with your dentist. A dentist can spot early signs of gum disease and can provide the correct treatment. They can also remove any tartar that has built up on the teeth and which is a major cause of more severe gum disease.
We always tell patients to keep their mouth healthy to keep their heart healthy!
If you would like to read more about the Madrid conference and the link between severe gum disease and heart disease, here is a report from the British Society of Periodontology: http://www.bsperio.org.uk/news/oral-hygiene-contributes-to-a-healthy-he
If you would like to book an appointment to check the condition of your teeth and gums then please do not hesitate to contact us. You can call us on 0161 951 7295 or alternatively you can contact us by using the online form on our Appointments page.