Old Thoughts on Dental Plaque and Heart Health
As defined by 1-800-DENTIST, dental plaque is the "..sticky invisible film that accumulates on your teeth -- on the biting surfaces, in the spaces between the teeth, and along the gum line," and comprised of over 400 types of bacterium. According to research entitled "Periodontal Microbiota and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness" (Moise Desvarieux, et. al) there is a direct correlation between dental plaque, tooth decay and heart disease. "Blood flow through the arteries that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle slows," causing heart attacks. The specific bacterium that creates this arterial plaque has a link to tooth decay causing bacteria.
A study from England found a short-lived correlation between invasive dental procedures (such as dental surgery) and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the team has suggested that invasive dental work can raise the level of oral bacteria that is normally fine in a healthy mouth. Surgery may be required to properly treat advanced periodontal disease and that can increase the odds of the oral bacteria entering the bloodstream and potentially lead to heart issues.
Do Not Change a Thing
Despite the most recent findings, individuals concerned about heart disease are advised to still continue practicing good oral hygiene, but back up that behavior by modifying unhealthy actions such as smoking or eating an unhealthy diet (a major contributor to Type 2 Diabetes). While the committee has not found any hard proof of the gum health and heart disease, they do admit that dental treatments of gum disease can lower the markers of body inflammation, and oral hygiene is essential for fighting gum disease.
1-800-DENTIST recommends that individuals brush twice a day, floss once a day and get regular dental exams and cleanings every six months. The process will allow a professional dentist to remove dental plaque and hard to remove dental tartar. This behavior can help individuals decrease their odds of developing health and dental problems down the road. Consumers looking to find a dentist can count on 1-800-DENTIST to make it so.