Redding Dentist: Heart Disease and Mouth Connections

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease will claim an estimated 600,000 lives this year, making it America’s number one killer.This year more than 920,000 Americans will have a heart attack; nearly half of them will occur without prior symptoms or warning signs.

What is the link between Heart disease and oral health?

According to Harvard Medical School Health reports Oral bacteria could  harm blood vessels or cause blood clots by releasing toxins that resemble proteins found in artery walls or the bloodstream. The immune system’s response to these toxins could harm vessel walls or make blood clot more easily. It is also possible that inflammation in the mouth revs up inflammation throughout the body, including in the arteries, where it can lead to heart attack and stroke.

cholestrol_httpwww.cdc.govfeaturesheartdisease

Inflammation in the mouth can cause inflammation in the arteries

Oral health can provide warning signs for other diseases , including heart disease:

Heart disease and oral health are linked. There are two different connections between heart disease and your oral health:

  1. Studies have shown that people with moderate or advanced gum (periodontal) disease are more likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums.
  2. Oral health holds clues to overall health. Studies have shown that oral health can provide warning signs for other diseases or conditions, including heart disease.Oral manifestations of systemic diseases are potential indicators of an array of conditions.

Oral cavity is a mirror that reflects many of the human body’s internal secrets.

During my 30 years of practicing dentistry, I have developed the ability of looking at a patient’s dental health and tell, in general, whether the person is healthy overall. I have sent many of my patients, who had no idea about their general health, to a physician and in many cases they have come back and thanked me for saving their lives.

Gum Disease

Oral cavity, like a mirror, reflects many of the human body’s internal secrets

 Gum disease can cause heart disease, stroke and diabetes

Because the mouth is a pathway to the body, people who have chronic gum disease are at a higher risk for heart attack, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Gum disease (called gingivitis in its early stages and periodontal disease in the late stages) is caused by plaque buildup.

Warning signs for gum disease:

Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs. However, the signs that you may have gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures.

How is gum disease treated?

  • Your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar both above and below your gum line. This procedure, called root planing and scaling, makes it harder for plaque to stick to the teeth.
  • Your dentist may give you antibiotics to kill bacteria and stop the infection. They may be put directly on the gums, swallowed as pills or capsules, or inserted into the pockets in your gums.
antibiotics

Your dentist may give you antibiotics to kill bacteria and stop the infection

  • You may need surgery if these treatments don’t control the infection or if you already have severe damage to your gums or teeth. Surgery options may include:
    • Gingivectomy, which removes and reshapes loose, diseased gum tissue to get rid of the pockets between the teeth and gums where plaque can build up.
    • A flap procedure, which cleans the roots of a tooth and repairs bone damage.
    • Extraction, to remove loose or severely damaged teeth.
  • After surgery, you may need to take antibiotics or other medicines to aid healing and prevent infection.

After treatment, you will need to keep your mouth disease-free by preventing plaque buildup. You will need to brush carefully and thoroughly after all meals and snacks and floss daily. Your dentist will probably prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash.

Your dentist will schedule follow-up appointments regularly for cleaning and to make sure that the disease has not returned

Risk factors for gum disease:

  • Smoking.  Need another reason to quit smoking? Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. Additionally, smoking can lower the chances for successful treatment.
  • Hormonal changes in girls/women. These changes can make gums more sensitive and make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease.
  • Other illnesses. Diseases like cancer or AIDS and their treatments can also negatively affect the health of gums.
  • Medications. There are hundreds of prescription and over the counter medications that can reduce the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on the mouth. Without enough saliva, the mouth is vulnerable to infections such as gum disease. And some medicines can cause abnormal overgrowth of the gum tissue; this can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean.
Genetic factor

Some people are more prone to severe gum disease than others, due to their genetic factor

  • Genetic susceptibility. Some people are more prone to severe gum disease than others.

While regular dental exams are necessary to remove tartar and detect early signs of gum disease, oral health begins by properly caring for your teeth and gums at home. Here are some measures you can take to prevent gum disease and keep your teeth for a lifetime:

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure:

  • Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline.
  • Floss twice a day  to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t like to floss? Try a floss holder, which can make it easier to insert floss between teeth.
flossing

Floss twice a day, to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach

  • Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, a mouth rinse can reduce plaque up to 20 percent.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Starchy and sugary foods increase plaque, and only a healthy diet provides the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
Health diet

Eat a healthy diet. to avoid dental health problems.

  • Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which may contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.
  • Be aware that certain medications can also aggravate gum disease, including oral contraceptives, antidepressants and heart medicines.
excercize

Exercise regularly for better overall health

  • Exercise preventive care and schedule regular checkups — the surest way to detect early signs of periodontal disease.
  • Have your dentist correct problems, such as faulty fillings, crowded teeth or teeth-grinding.

In dentistry experience and Continuing Education are everything. Dr. Parvin Carter has over 30 years of experience in Practicing General Dentistry and 25 years in Orthodontics. She has thousands of hours of advanced training. In 2000, Academy of General Dentistry awarded Dr. Carter a Certificate of Mastership (MAGD) in General Dentistry. According to the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, only 1% of US dentists achieve this high level of advancement. Dr. Carter is a Certified and Preferred Provider of Invisalign. She has successfully treated over 380 patients with Invisalign.

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Redding Dentist: Gum Disease May Result to Pancreatic Cancer

Dr. Parvin Carter

 

Gum Disease and Pancreatic Cancer

This article, which is written Dr. Parvin Carter DDS, MAGD, a general dentist in Redding, CA, is dicussing the link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer

Gum disease, which affects more than half of all Americans, has been linked to stroke, diabetes and other ailments. According to recent research from the Harvard Medical School involving more than 51,000 men pancreatic cancer is also linked to gum disease.

Pancreatic cancera leading cause of cancer deaths, is elusive, with vague symptoms that often lead to late diagnosis. It is an extremely difficult cancer to treat and little is known about what causes it.

“Men who had reported periodontal disease had a 64 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer compared to those who didn’t have gum disease,” said the study’s lead author, Dominique S. Michaud.

The study provides the first strong evidence that gum disease may increase pancreatic cancer risk, added Michaud, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

The pancreas, a gland behind the stomach, makes pancreatic juice, which helps break down fats and proteins in foods. The gland also produces the hormone insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar.
One possible explanation for the results is that inflammation from periodontal disease may promote cancer of the pancreas. “Individuals with periodontal disease have elevated serum biomarkers of systemic inflammation, such as C-reactive protein, and these may somehow contribute to the promotion of cancer cells,” she said.

Another explanation, according to Michaud, is that periodontal disease could lead to increased pancreatic carcinogenesis because individuals with periodontal disease have higher levels of oral bacteria and higher levels of nitrosamines, which are carcinogens, in their oral cavity. Prior studies have shown that nitrosamines and gastric acidity may play a role in pancreatic cancer.

In their 16-year study, Michaud and her colleagues followed 51,529 men who participated in the Health Professional Follow-Up Study, which began in 1986. The researchers controlled for the effects of smoking.

“Our study was a prospective study of health professionals,” Michaud said. “Not MDs, but dentists, podiatrists, veterinarians.”
“People with periodontal disease have higher blood levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker that has been associated with heart disease,” Michaud said. “Periodontal disease is also linked to heart disease in some studies.” The inflammation may somehow contribute to the promotion of cancer cells, she added.

“Pancreatic cancer is one of those diseases we don’t know much about,” she said. “Once you get it, the survival rate is very low.”
This research “confirms that inflammation may play an important role in pancreatic cancer,” she said.
According to Michaud, the findings should also “give consumers one more reason to really take care of their teeth and their oral health. I think that’s really the message.

Bottom Line:

Periodontitis is a silent disease. People with the disease rarely experience pain and may not be aware of the problem. Healthy habits and good oral hygiene are critical in preventing gum disease. A periodontal examination by a general dentist twice a year should reveal any incipient or progressive problems. A full mouth series of x-rays is advised. This will alert the dentist to early bone loss and other disorders of the oral cavity.
Dr. Parvin Carter has over 30 years of experience in Dentistry; she is a Preferred Provider of Invisalign and the director of A Redding Invisalign She received her degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery, from Indiana University Dental School, in 1982, after which she immediately opened her private practice.
In July 1990 she received fellowship award from academy of General Dentistry. This award requires 600 hours of continuing education and passing required examination. In July 2000 Dr. Carter received Mastership award from Academy of General Dentistry. This is the highest award for continuing education. This award requires 800hours of participation in dentistry specialties. According to the Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, only 1% of US dentists achieve this high level of advancement.
Dr. Carter’s expertises are:
Invisalign, orthodontics, advanced TMJ treatment, oral surgery, sleep Disorders, placement of implants, restorations of cosmetic dentistry, whole mouth rehabilitation, fixed and removable prosthodontic, periodontics (soft tissue management), tooth and implant supported over dentures, endodontics, molars and anterior.

Dr. Parvin Carter is Certified and Preferred Provider of Invisalign. She has successfully treated over 368 patients with Invisalign. To find out more please see http://drparvincarter.com.

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