Dental Plaque vs. Heart Plaque: this Super Bowl of diseases are actually related. It has been demonstrated that many of the micro-organisms that form dental plaque are the same ones that are responsible for the plaque in your arteries. It may come as a surprise to many that the bacteria that cause inflammation in your mouth, seen as bleeding gums, can be responsible for heart attacks and strokes.
So what can we do about this “silent killer”? It all starts with a simple test that you can do at home tonight. If when you brush your teeth before you go to bed and spit into the sink, you see red (blood) you may have inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). How about if there is no bleeding? You may be safe but you should be evaluated by your dentist or dental hygienist periodically to be sure. If you have gingivitis, it is reversible in its early stages by professional therapy, that is, a comprehensive treatment plan to remove plaque form all surfaces of the teeth. This may involve anti-microbial mouth rinses, localized or systemic antibiotics and dental scaling.
The plaque that accumulates in your arteries, itself, is not a bad thing. It can be thought of as “firewood” building in the arteries. You’d really rather not have it there but it only becomes a problem if the fire is started by the “kindling”. And what is the “kindling”? Inflammation.
Inflammation is the “fire” in the arteries that precipitates an “event”. An event is a heart attack or a stroke. No inflammation = No event. So the whole idea is to keep the arteries cool, calm and collected. How do you do that? By reducing or eliminating inflammation. In fact, one of the main roles of statin drugs such as Crestor or Lipitor is to reduce inflammation in the artery walls.
So if you keep the arteries “cool”, the “firewood” never catches fire and you don’t have an event, such as a heart attack or stroke. One of the easiest, most effective ways of keeping the arteries cool is to keep the dental plaque from firing up the arterial plaque. It’s as simple as having the plaque professionally removed from your teeth at regular intervals as prescribed by your dental team.
Now, go watch “the big game”, root for your team and remember to go to bed tonight and every night with a “clean mouth”. Your teeth, gums and heart will thank you.
If this type of comprehensive view of your dental health as an integral part of your overall health appeals to you, contact your new dental home at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (561)746-8095 for an amazing experience.
About Our Practice
We want to exceed our patients’ expectations in every possible way and are committed to excellence in all of our services to our patients so that we may help them achieve the highest level of dental health in an atmosphere of trust and empathy. Our highly proficient and technologically advanced dental team has been in Jupiter since 1986 bringing quality dental care to our community. We continually strive to learn all the newest treatment modalities and bring a new meaning to oral health care. Dr. Higham & Dr. Sauchelli stress that overall health begins with the mouth. We will treat you like family! Our office is conveniently located at 500 Maplewood Dr. Suite B1 (right next to the bowling alley). Our office phone number is (561)746-8095 and our website is www.jupiterdentist.com. *New patients always welcome.