Did you know that February is American Heart Month? Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in America. It affects 81 million Americans and is the culprit in one of every two deaths in the United States. Most people think they are not at risk for a heart attack if they control their cholesterol and blood pressure.
However, inflammation is an additional risk factor that can lead to increased risk of heart disease. Gum disease is always accompanied by inflammation from its beginning stages (gingivitis) to the more advanced (periodontitis) stage. Diseases of the mouth are the silent culprits of chronic inflammation. Unknowingly, this condition can drive the formation of plaque in the arteries, causing inflammation of arterial plaque that leads to plaque rupture — the cause of heart attacks and most strokes.
In 2013 Drs. Brad Bale and Amy Doneen authored an informative book, “Beat the Heart Attack Gene,” whose research has helped bring the mouth-to-heart connection to the forefront of heart disease prevention. Drs. Bale and Doneen recommend that anyone who has suffered a heart attack have a complete dental checkup, including a saliva test — MyPeriPath. This diagnostic test shows the balance between good and bad bacteria, which in turn shows the degree of inflammation.
At Future of Dentistry our philosophy is simple: We treat your mouth with your body in mind — “Healthy Body Dentistry.” We believe your dental health affects not only your physical health, but also your wellbeing. Patients are often unaware of gum disease, as it is usually not accompanied by pain, and thus neglect their semiannual “cleanings,” assuming their mouth is healthy.
Let us help keep you “heart healthy” with regular checkups, brushing and flossing. Just what the doctor ordered!