What’s the Connection between Oral Health and Heart Disease? Santa Monica Laser Periodontal Dentist Explains the Link

by Dr. Follette | Date Published: 2017-11-21

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition where the gum tissue surrounding the teeth becomes infected. Bacteria grow above and below the gumline, eventually causing the gum tissue to separate from teeth. It is a disease that is far too common, and patients of our Santa Monica laser periodontal dentist are surprised to find there are other serious physical complications associated with the disease.

Periodontal disease, heart disease, and stroke may seem to be completely unrelated, but research has shown that people suffering from gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. Researchers have also found that oral infection is a risk factor for stroke.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Research has further proven that the presence of periodontal disease can aggravate existing heart conditions. There are several theories which may explain the link between heart disease, stroke and periodontal disease, some of which are:

Oral bacteria affect the heart – There are many different strains of periodontal bacteria. Some of these strains of bacteria can enter the bloodstream and attach to the fatty plaques in the coronary arteries. This buildup contributes to clot formation, putting the individual at higher risk.

Immune System – Individuals who have high levels of oral bacteria may also have weaker immune systems. This may set off a chain of events that have been shown to contribute to the onset of specific forms of heart disease.

Diagnosis

Since periodontal disease appears to be a risk factor for both heart attack and stroke, it is essential to seek immediate treatment. Initially, your Santa Monica laser periodontal dentist will conduct a thorough examination to assess the exact condition of the teeth, gums, and jawbone.

Treatment

For treating periodontal disease, we use gentle laser technology, a treatment that offers a patient-friendly alternative to gum surgery. For you, this means less discomfort and pain, less treatment time, and a significantly shorter recovery time.

The advantage of using a dental laser for treatment is that it helps to restore healthy bone and tissue rather than simply removing tissue. The laser can be used to remove extra or diseased gum tissue, contour or reshape the gums, and remove bacteria in periodontal pockets. Healing time and postoperative discomfort are significantly reduced by laser dentistry.