Fairport, Pittsford and Rochester, NY
Bale and Doneen in Beat the Heart Attack Gene point out that “very sophisticated studies have demonstrated a strong similarity between the amount of inflammation in our gums and the amount of inflammation in the major arteries of the neck and the heart’s largest artery, the aorta.” At Pittsford Dental Excellence Center, we’ve been diligent about checking for oral infection for years.
Inflammation destabilizes plaque in the artery walls, which explains why some people with relatively little buildup experience strokes and heart attacks, while others with substantial deposits never suffer these events. “Studies are now revealing that most plaques in the carotid artery usually contain many of the germs known to cause periodontal disease.” It’s all interconnected! Inflammation in the body, including the mouth, can be a precursor to serious health events like heart attack and stroke. [Beat the Heart Attack Gene, page 44]
The authors go on to point out that gum disease isn’t the only inflammatory disorder that can raise your heart attack or stroke risk. High cholesterol multiplies the risk of cardiovascular disease. When elevated levels of bad cholesterol “burrow inside the blood vessel walls, it sparks an inflammatory response, which is believed to accelerate cholesterol buildup. This, in turn, triggers more inflammation, creating a vicious cycle…” I think you get the idea that systemically everything that happens in the body is interconnected.
What this means to the patient: It means that diagnosis and treatment of oral infection are more important than ever. This is very important to me. My next post will focus on a recent experience I had in my own family with job diagnosing and treating gum disease.