Oral-systemic health is an interesting concept that makes connections between your dental health and the rest of your body. Gum disease (or really the bacteria which cause it) have actually been found in other parts of the body. One example is a study which uncovered these same germs responsible for periodontal infection in the knees of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Learning more about oral-systemic health is likely to inspire you to take better care of your teeth and gums.
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
There is a strong correlation between periodontal disease and heart disease. Some medical professionals believe that people who suffer from periodontal disease have twice the chance of ending up with clogged arteries. While the exact path to this connection has not been definitively uncovered, it is thought that germs can enter the bloodstream through your mouth, from your inflamed gums. The bacteria can then travel to your heart, causing swelling in your arteries. Even if there isn’t definitive proof of this, there is enough evidence to surmise that good oral hygiene could lead to better overall health.
Gum Disease and the Brain
Your heart isn’t the only vital organ which is potentially in danger from the infiltration of insidious oral bacteria. Evidence of a connection between gum disease and dementia is compelling. The idea that periodontal disease bacteria can travel to your brain sounds like something out of a horror film. Some studies have made links between Alzheimer’s disease and unhealthy gum tissues. Just as with heart disease, it is believed that bacteria can enter your blood stream through infected gums. This is just another of many reasons to keep up with your preventive dental care and visit Dr. Johnson every six months.
About Your Des Moines Family Dentist:
Dr. Jessica Johnson is a dedicated family dentist who focuses on overall oral health and the value of preventive dental care for your whole family. Dr. Johnson is a member of the American Dental Association, the Iowa Dental Association, the Des Moines District Dental Association, and the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. Valley Ridge Family Dental gladly welcomes patients and their families from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and all surrounding Des Moines communities. To schedule a consultation, contact us today by calling our office at (515) 223-9764.