For two decades, researchers have studied the connection between periodontal disease and heart disease. Though a cause and effect relationship hasn’t yet been proven, the evidence suggests that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.
What is periodontal disease?
Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and other structures around the teeth including periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Early symptoms include bleeding, tender, or swollen gums, and teeth that look longer because gums have receded. If left untreated, periodontal disease can ruin the supporting structures of the teeth, ultimately leading to tooth loss.
What is the connection between periodontal and heart disease?
Over the last few years, gum disease has been linked to various health problems including stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Scientists suspect that the inflammation caused by gum disease is the reason for the association. Preexisting heart conditions can also be made worse by gum disease.
Additional studies have emphasized a connection between gum disease and stroke. In one study, researchers found that those diagnosed with a stroke were more likely to have an oral infection as opposed to those in the control group.
What is the best gum disease treatment?
Dr. Silberg’s practice in Pittsburgh offers effective gum disease treatment options for patients at all stages. The best option, though, is preventive care to keep gum disease from ever getting a foothold. Preventive care involves a dedicated oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Good personal hygiene halts the growth of plaque, the main cause of gum disease. Regular visits to our office can also help keep your teeth clear of plaque and tartar, and give us the chance to watch for signs of gum disease.
What should I do if I think I have periodontal or heart disease?
For gum disease treatment in the Pittsburgh area, contact Dr. Silberg. At the Silberg Center for Dental Science, we understand the connection between your dental health and your total well being. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns as we work toward enhancing your smile and ultimately improving your health. If you have questions or need an appointment, contact us today!