Brush your Teeth for a Healthy Heart!

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the gums surrounding your teeth. Your gums become inflamed when tiny pockets of bacteria grow and manifest themselves in the root of your teeth. This problem can eventually lead to root canal to prevent further growth of this bacteria if not treated beforehand with proper oral hygiene. Once bacteria has started to grow it will stimulate your body's production of C-Reactive Protein (CRP). CRP has been linked as to being even more harmful than high cholesterol levels in heart attack victims. In fact, over 50% of those that suffer heart attacks have cholesterol levels that are below the "high risk" category leading researchers to believe that CRP is indeed the main culprit. The mechanism behind how this reaction occurs can be best understood through watching a short clip provided from the link below:

As explained in the 2 minute video above, periodontal disease affects the coronary vessels of the heart as well as the heart muscle itself. Both cause extreme stress on the heart and will in turn lead to a massive cardiac event or stroke. Furthermore, periodontal disease also has been linked to the onset of other serious diseases such as:

  • Dementia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Diabetes
  • Premature Birth

In a recent study performed in 2008, researchers executed a memory test between those with healthy gums and those with gum disease and discovered that the latter group scored the worst in memory tests and calculations.

In regards to RA, the spreading of gum disease through the body via blood vessels leads to chronic inflammation of many tissues and organs throughout the body. With widespread inflammation not only being an effect of RA but also being a cause, periodontal disease can therefore lead to the onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

As covered earlier, periodontal disease leads to the increase in CRP's. Increase in CRP within the bloodstream is directly correalated to an increase in insulin resistance. An increase in insulin resistance will further lead to the development of prediabetes and if without treatment will ultimately lead to the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.

Research on the effects of periodontal disease and premature births have given conflicting results. Although most research has shown that mothers who receive treatment for periodontal disease prior to week 35 will see a decreased likelihood of their baby being born pre-term.

The all around effects of periodontal disease on your body as a whole are too alarming to ignore. Not only are you putting your smile at risk, but you're also putting your heart and many other major organs at risk with the possibility of developing periodontal disease. In order to prevent periodontal disease make sure to go in for a check-up with your dentist at least every 6-months to make sure you're oral hygiene is being kept up to speed. A couple of quick tips that I picked up from my dentist are:

  • Floss at night before brushing
  • Use your toothbrush like a tool, not a scrubber
  • Use Listerine mouthwash after brushing to help fight additional bacteria
  • Wait an hour after eating before brushing

For more information feel free to talk with your dentist on other helpful ways that you can maintain a healthy smile and more importantly prevent the development of periodontal disease.

Fit Tips

Dehydration by definition is simply, "Dryness due to the removal of water." So it's simple, you just drink water to avoid it right? Unfortunately it's not that easy. With summer approaching it's good to know what exactly is going on inside your body during dehydration, and what steps you can take to detect and prevent it from occurring.