Social Dental Network

Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

In Dental Care, Gum Disease on November 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Keeping our regularly scheduled dental appointments should no longer be an issue of convenience. If maintaining optimal oral health isn’t a primary concern, when words like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke get thrown around; taking care of our teeth might just ratchet up a few notches on our personal priority list. How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

But what if taking proper care of our teeth and gums, and keeping our regularly scheduled dental appointments can also help prevent other health problems now, and later on in life?

Then we’d have no problem keeping those dental appointments and taking that extra 2 minutes to run some floss through the chompers.

New research from the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011 held this past weekend in Orlando, Florida, suggests people who visit the dentist regularly to have their teeth cleaned may lower their risk for heart attack or stroke.(1)

This isn’t just Tuesday morning fluff news to give us something to read while we waste time puttering through Facebook or teetering through Twitter.

This research suggests that getting our teeth professionally cleaned and scraped or “scaled,” just once a year, may help reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke.

If this isn’t social dental-centric circle share-worthy info, we don’t know what is! How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

(Click one of the social links at the bottom of this article and share this story with a loved one)

We should actually make a habit of going to see our favorite dentists once every six months; more often for smokers, diabetics, people with gum disease already (2)…and rabid coffee hounds.

Now this doesn’t mean we all get our teeth cleaned at least once per year, and ipso facto…no heart disease or stroke.

Dentists would be even more popular if that were true!

In this ABCNews article, Dr. Daniel Meyer, the American Dental Association’s (ADA) senior vice president of science and professional affairs, agreed that it is too early to make that assumption, but stressed,

“Regular dental visits are important to diagnose and treat dental disease. Some conditions in the mouth may indicate disease elsewhere in the body, so by maintaining a schedule of regular dental visits, the dentist can certainly refer patients to physicians or other health care providers for evaluation for a potential systemic disease.”(3)

How Going to the Dentist Can Help Prevent Heart DiseaseHow gum disease may be linked to heart disease is still unclear, but continuing research can only help us learn more.

Oral Systemic Dentistry

Although some holes can be poked in the findings of the Taiwan-based research, particularly the type of patients examined and other supporting risk factors such as smoking, exercise habits, and genetics; holes can be poked in any research – and that’s what science is all about.

The indisputable facts remain, going to the dentist is good for us…beyond our teeth and gums!

Our oral health has a direct impact on our overall health.

It has been reported that 3 out of every 4 Americans have signs of mild periodontal disease or gingivitis, and almost 30% show signs of the more severe disease, chronic periodontitis.(4)

We now have a building knowledgebase of research that shows us, the health of our teeth and gums may have a significant effect on the overall health of our body.

This recent scientific literature (and more) suggests a strong relationship between oral disease and other systemic diseases and medical conditions.

Oral systemic dentistry is a growing area of study that is only gaining more popularity with dental health professionals.

The ability to share patient health information between primary care physicians and dentists, is allowing that beneficial communication to make a difference in diagnosis, patient care, and treatments available.

According to http://www.oralsystemicconnection.com/, the most significant areas identified to-date to have a suspected oral systemic connection are:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Fetal Development
  • Diabetes
  • Orthopedic Implant Failure
  • Kidney Disease

In all of the above mentioned medical conditions, oral bacteria and periodontal disease are suspected contributing factors.

How significant remains to be seen as we continue to learn more.

We need to educate ourselves, ask questions at the doctor or dentist office, and SHARE THE INFO!

If we can share a stupid (albeit hysterical) FWD email, political rant, or video link of this week’s cute puppy, we should certainly be willing to share cutting-edge beneficial health care information.

DO IT!

DO IT!

Sources:

Advertisements

Does Gum Disease Inhibit Pregnancy?

In Gum Disease on July 7, 2011 at 4:30 AM

According to a recent ScienceDaily® article highlighting another health complication related to gum disease, Professor Roger Hart told the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology that the negative effect of gum disease on conception was of the same order of magnitude as the effect of obesity.

That’s a pretty staggering and scary proclamation. And one we should share with every woman we know that could be contemplating a family.

Photo Courtesy of Jenny Rollo©

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.1

It’s when this bacteria, if left unchecked due to poor oral health habits, creates inflammation around the tooth; the gum starts to pull away from the tooth, creating spaces (periodontal pockets) that become infected.2

The inflammation sets off a cascade of tissue-destructive events that can pass into the circulation. As a result, periodontal disease has been associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory and kidney disease, and problems in pregnancy such as miscarriage and premature birth.3

Conception Complications

Prof Hart, who is Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Western Australia (Perth, Australia) and Medical Director of Fertility Specialists of Western Australia, said:

“Until now, there have been no published studies that investigate whether gum disease can affect a woman’s chance of conceiving, so this is the first report to suggest that gum disease might be one of several factors that could be modified to improve the chances of a pregnancy.”

The researchers followed a group 3737 pregnant women, who were taking part in a Western Australian study called the SMILE study, and they analyzed information on pregnancy planning and pregnancy outcomes for 3416 of them.

They found that women with gum disease took an average of just over seven months to become pregnant — two months longer than the average of five months that it took women without gum disease to conceive.4

Information on time to conception was available for 1,956 women, and of, these, 146 women took longer than 12 months to conceive — an indicator of impaired fertility. They were more likely to be older, non-Caucasian, to smoke and to have a body mass index over 25 kg/m2. Out of the 3416 women, 1014 (26%) had periodontal disease.5

Additionally, Professor Hart mentions that all women should also be encouraged to see their dentist to have any gum disease treated before trying to conceive. It is easily treated, usually involving no more than four dental visits.

Schedule a dental appointment and talk to your dentist about gum disease and Periodontitis BEFORE you decide to plan a pregnancy.

For more staggering statistics on the study, click over to the ScienceDaily® article here.

Then go share this important piece of dental health information!

 
 

Sources:

Why Shaquille O’Neal Went to Harvard

In Sleep Apnea on May 24, 2011 at 4:30 AM

“Sleep apnea, actually, is a pretty common condition which is most likely under-diagnosed and under-evaluated because many people don’t realize that they have it.”

It’s become such a huge health problem in America and has been linked to the “obesity epidemic, high rates of stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular or heart disease, and even mortality.”

Check out this quick video to hear more frightening news, and see why Shaq is attacking Sleep Apnea!

“Sleep apnea is a condition where a person is unable to get air into their lungs when they fall asleep.”

So those bouts of non-breathing – from snoring out loud to what sounds like no breathing – can not only lead to a poor night’s sleep and all the health maladies associated, it can kill us.

Image courtesy of the American Sleep Apnea Association

Some common Sleep Apnea symptoms:

  • Snoring
  • Frequent waking up at night feeling breathless
  • Irritability (from not getting a good night sleep)
  • High blood pressure

Some possible treatments for Sleep Apnea:

  • CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
  • OSB® (Oral Systemic Balance Therapy)
  • Oral appliances
  • Weight Loss

To get more facts about sleep apnea from The American Sleep Apnea Association, click here. Be sure to check your snore score, or your significant others, while you’re there.

And don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about any possible sleep apnea or snoring issues you may be experiencing – first-hand or not.

Sources:

Division of Sleep Medicine | Harvard Medical School Sleep & Health Education Program

American Sleep Apnea Association