Dr Paul Ridker a Cardiologist voted Time magazines 100 most influential people.
Dr. Ridker makes an impassioned plea to the periodontal community to continue to partner with the cardiology community to better understand how treating periodontal disease may help reduce the incidence of heart disease. He encourages the periodontal community to conduct and support research that will ultimately support a national clinical trial.
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Dental care and heart disease aren’t two things that you would think would be associated together. It seems as though the distance between these two topics is about a mile wide, however, the facts are in and we now must be on alert in order to avoid what could be devastating consequences.
Your dental hygiene can have an affect on your cardiovascular health if you have open sores or bleeding in your mouth that is there regularly and left untreated. This directly affects those individuals that have bleeding of the gums, better known as gingivitis.
Your mouth naturally produces a substance known as tarter. It is a white chalky substance that develops in our mouths naturally. This tarter can harden and turn into plaque if you don’t use good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. However, there’s simply no way to avoid some of this substance getting into your blood stream if you have an open wound in your mouth.
The same plaque that develops on your teeth over time can do the exact same thing in your arteries. Over time this can cause blockage of blood flow and eventually may result in a heart attack or stroke.
So what can you do to decrease the odds of this happening to you?
The first thing you must do is schedule an appointment with your dentist. Next, your dentist will likely sit you down and have this same discussion with you. He or she will explain the risks of not getting treated and exactly what treatment involves.
You’ll need to get an in-depth oral examination, as well as x-rays so that the dentist can check the condition of your teeth and gums. Your dentist will likely want to do a thorough cleaning of your teeth to remove any plaque that has built up over time. This will also greatly reduce any bleeding of your gums and help them to heal.
You’ll receive a follow up appointment so any other fillings, etc can be addressed.
Once you have your teeth and gums back in a state of good repair then you’ll want to maintain good personal hygiene. You can do this by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, avoiding sweets and following up with your dentist every 6 months for check-ups and cleaning.