The Inflammation Connection
- Doctors and Dentists warn patients with moderate to severe gum disease of their potential cardiovascular risks.
- Patients with gum disease should get a complete physical exam and blood pressure measurements annually.
- Patients should be evaluated for diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history of early deaths from cardiovascular disease.
- Patients will need to be evaluated by their Dentist or Dental Hygienist frequently for periodontal cleanings to lower the number or bacterial load.
Obviously, these patients with gum disease and one or more other cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, should be treated with lifestyle changes, and if necessary, medication. There are additional ways to evaluate your oral health, including saliva testing to determine if there are dangerous oral bacteria that may also harm your heart. This is a very powerful tool for using genetic information that can determine if you have an oral health problem – EVEN before you develop the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Gum disease along with increased levels of LDLs (the bad cholesterol) can cause a cascade of more and more plaque accumulation in the walls of the blood vessels, thus creating what we’ve termed an “Inflammatory Burden” on the body that can have devastating consequences.