Studies Show That Early Treatment of Gum Disease Will Significantly Lower Risk of Heart Disease
BINGHAM FARMS, MI — Brushing your teeth regularly may be one of the best things you can do for your heart.
People wanting to live a Heart Smart lifestyle, should brush their teeth regularly to avoid the build-up of plaque that characterizes both cardiac and gum diseases, stresses Dr. Timothy Kosinski, DDS, of SmileCreator in Bingham Farms.
“There are strong indications that gum disease is a high-risk factor for formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries, ” says Dr. Kosinski, “and a primary form of periodontal disease occurs when bacteria invade the gums, bones, and tissues that support the teeth.”
More than 75 percent of adults 35 and older suffer from periodontal (gingivitis) disease but most don’t realize it until substantial damage has already occurred. Often painless, gum disease progresses relentlessly: gums separate from teeth, pockets form and deepen, and bacteria-produced toxins destroy tissue.
For hundreds of years people have recognized a connection between oral infections and systemic conditions. More recent investigations have found an association between gum disease and cardiovascular disease, low birth-weight babies, respiratory infections, and diabetes.
It is now known that patients with a 20 percent increase of periodontal bone loss have a 40 percent increase in developing chronic heart disease.
One study found people with periodontal bone loss had twice the chance of fatal heart disease. Experts believe bacteria from the chronic gum infection enter the bloodstream and cause white blood cells (which fight infections) to release materials that create a build-up of fatty deposits and clots in the arteries. Studies have shown that chronic infections in other parts of the body can cause a similar response.
“An overall part of having a healthy body and heart is to make sure there are no chronic infections in the body, including periodontitis and gingivitis,” explains Dr. Kosinski.
Professional dental care and good oral hygiene can reverse gingivitis while in its earliest stage. Blood pressure screenings are done routinely at the SmileCreator as part of its patient assessment practice.
“Preventing periodontal disease or reducing its extent or severity may also reduce the risk of coronary artery disease,” stresses Dr. Kosinski. “Improved oral hygiene and frequent dental cleanings are both associated with periodontal health. Periodontal health is associated with a lower incidence of coronary artery disease and stroke.”
To minimize your risk:
- Brush inner, outer, and chewing surfaces at least twice daily with a soft-bristled brush held at a 45-degree angle. Some people find electric brushes easier to use.
- Floss at least once daily, gently guiding the floss between teeth. While holding floss taut and curved around each tooth, slide the floss up and down. Continue, using a clean section of floss for each tooth.
- Obtain professional dental cleaning every six months, more often if you are prone to plaque or gingivitis.
- Ask for an annual periodontal screening and assessment of the degree to which gum tissue has pulled away from teeth.
Healthy Heart Habits from the American Heart Association include:
- Eat a heart smart diet including a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains
- Exercise regularly
- Limit soda, candy, alcohol, and sodium
- Identify and reduce sources of stress
- Know your blood pressure
- Avoid smoking
For more information about Dr. Kosinski or SmileCreator go to www.smilecreator.net, call 248-646-8651 or send an email query to firstname.lastname@example.org. SmileCreator is located at 31000 Telegraph Rd., Suite 170, Bingham Farms, MI 48025.
About Dr. Timothy Kosinski: He has practiced general and implant dentistry for 20 years. A graduate of University of Detroit Dental School, he completed comprehensive implant training at Harvard. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry, The International Congress of Oral Implantologists and the American Society of Osseointegration. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and most recently received his Mastership in the AGD in Anaheim this year. Dr. Kosinski has been inducted into the American and International Colleges of Dentists and the Academy of Dentistry International. Dr. Kosinski was selected the Best Dentist in America by his peers in 2004-2005.