As a family and cosmetic dentist in Lakewood, CO, our staff at Advanced Family Dental remains committed to protecting the oral health of our community. In addition to recommending the best daily oral health practices – such as brushing and flossing – we pledge to provide our patients with the latest, most advanced dental care possible.
In recent years, a growing amount of research has found compelling links between an individual’s oral health and his or her overall health. One of the more compelling examples of how oral health can impact an individual’s overall health is the link between gum disease and heart disease. Now a new study from the Forsyth Institute has shed further light on this connection.
According to a study published by the American Heart Association, researchers at Forsyth have shown that by using an oral topical treatment to reduce the inflammation caused by severe gum disease, doctors can also reduce vascular inflammation, thereby lowering an individual’s risk of heart attack.
A Heart Raising Discovery
This study marks the first time researchers have demonstrated the possibilities of using an oral treatment for gum disease as a way of also reducing inflammation in the walls of vascular arteries. The active ingredient used in the oral treatment identified by researchers as responsible for lowering inflammation is known as Resolvin E1. The results of this study only help to further underscore how oral problems – especially when left untreated – can have life changing influences on other vital systems in the body, such as the heart.
Approximately one out of four deaths in the U.S. is attributed to heart disease, according to data complied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings outlined in the Forsyth study suggest a need to expand the general understanding of risk factors associated with heart disease beyond diabetes, hypertension, smoking and cholesterol. With the support of public health officials, researchers hope to create a greater general awareness of gum disease as a primary risk factor for heart disease that exists independent of an individual’s lifestyle and diet.
Expanding the scope of known risk factors for heart disease to include oral health could also help to further educate the public on research that has linked gum disease to other chronic diseases. In addition to an increased risk of heart disease, studies have found links between gum disease and such long-term illnesses as diabetes, stroke, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers hope that once a better understanding between oral and overall health is understood, basic dental care services such as annual checkups and cleanings will take on a greater importance to the public.
Protecting Your Health
As a family and cosmetic dentist in Lakewood, CO, our staff at Advanced Family Dental works diligently to protect the health of our patients. Lowering your risk of gum disease really comes down to just a few basic habits. Patients need to reduce the amount of sugars they consume, brush twice daily, floss at least once a day, and schedule regular cleanings and checkups with our dentists. By following these simple steps, you can dramatically lower your risk of gum disease and all of the chronic illnesses linked to the disease. Your oral health matters, maybe now more than ever.