Tooth-brushing and flossing to maintain healthy gums has been common knowledge for many years, and has played a significant role in improving general oral health. However, evidence is building of links between oral infection and bacteria with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Treating inflammation, therefore, may not only help manage periodontal disease, but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.
Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease. Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. A periodontist and a cardiologist will be able to determine if a patient’s heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in a control group.
Over the next few years we shall learn more about the relationship between oral health and other conditions. But already it is clear that dentists can play an important role in helping the NHS to promote behaviour that encourages health and wellbeing, around diet, smoking and alcohol consumption in particular. Prevention is likely to be an important constituent of the eventual successor to the 2009 NHS Dental Contract, with a number of pilots currently being tested across England.
Our Liverpool Dentist can help you take good care of your oral health to help you promote overall good well being but also to help you feel confident about your smile. If you have any concerns about your oral health, please contact us, we will be happy to discuss these with you. If you are not already registered with a Private Dentist in Liverpool we will be happy to register you with our practice.