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Can a dentist determine if you have heart problems from the health of your smile?

Dr. John Pappas of Arcadia Dental Arts is a Phoenix, AZ professional who is dedicated to helping patients in the area achieve oral health and wellness. He also educates patients on certain conditions that may also impact overall health. For example, periodontal disease is an infection that can start in the mouth but then spread to other parts of the body, causing potential medical problems elsewhere.

What is gum disease?

Periodontal disease, as it is medically known, is a unique infection of the tissues that support your natural, adult teeth. If you have gum disease and infection, at any stage, your gums might bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. You may also notice loose or shifting teeth due to the natural degeneration of bone that can also occur with this condition. In fact, gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

What does gum disease have to do with the heart?

Recent studies have found that people with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems. Researchers believe that bacteria from the gum infection can enter the bloodstream and damage the arteries, leading to these problems. This is known as the “oral-systemic connection” and is the primary reason why patients experience coexisting medical issues when they are diagnosed with periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease has also been linked to other medical conditions, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Alzheimer’s disease

If you have any of the above medical and health conditions, it is important to see a dentist or gum specialist regularly so that any gum disease can be treated promptly.

How can I reduce my risk factors of heart conditions caused by dental issues?

If you have gum disease and infection, it is critical that you see your dentist regularly. You will want to be very diligent in brushing and flossing your teeth every day. Treatment for gum disease may include professional cleanings, special mouth rinses, and medications. In severe cases, surgery might be recommended to address damage caused by this infection.

Monitor your oral health and wellness today to reduce your risk of heart problems

Visiting our team at Arcadia Dental Arts to be proactive about your oral health is best. Call 602-957-9643 to request an appointment at our Phoenix, AZ area facility.

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