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The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease

April 29, 2019 | Periodontal Disease | The Office of Palisades Dentists

Medical professionals have noticed a possible connection between oral and cardiovascular health. The long-term effects of untreated oral bacteria related to periodontal disease could potentially have severe consequences. There is a misconception that the plaque that triggers gum disease is the same that clog arteries, but that is not the case. There is still no definitive answer to whether periodontal disease and heart disease are related, but there are some common threads that suggest a link between these conditions.

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Potential Link

Periodontal disease is often characterized by inflammation (swelling and tenderness) of the gums. When the gums are inflamed, they are more likely to collect bacteria. When this bacteria enters the bloodstream through lesions in the mouth, it can go anywhere else in the body, including the heart.

Related Risk Factors

Both periodontal disease and heart disease can be caused by similar factors, including:

  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Untreated chronic inflammation

How to Help Prevent Periodontal Disease

Many dental specialists agree that even without a proven connection between periodontal disease and heart disease, the evidence that does exist suggests it is better to be proactive about oral hygiene to lead a healthier lifestyle. Going to the dentist regularly for biannual exams can help diagnose early onset periodontal disease or allow your doctor to devise a treatment plan that will restore your gums to a healthy condition.

Laser Treatment With LANAP®

The standard approach to periodontal disease treatment usually involves excising damaged tissue or causing trauma to the gums. However, patients can opt for a less-invasive solution with laser treatment. LANAP® laser technology promotes faster healing and minimizes the discomfort that often results from periodontal procedures. It also preserves more of the gum tissue, allowing the treated areas to regenerate more efficiently, which improves overall oral health.

To schedule a dental appointment or to learn more about periodontal disease, please reach out to The Palisades Dentists by filling out our online contact form or calling our office at 310.459.2303.