Periodontal Disease (gum disease) has been demonstrated to have a strong relationship to cardiovascular disease with an increased prevalence of coronary artery disease in patients with serious gum disease. Several studies have indicated a very strong link between the presence of these two diseases in a patient. Atherosclerosis, exhibiting an increased thickness in the carotid artery wall, which can lead to cardiovascular disease also has often been reported in people with cardiovascular disease. In our Bellevue Dentist Office, we encourage patients with periodontal problems to actively keep up their treatments on a regular basis. According to American Dental Association guidelines, any patient with gum disease needs to be seem multiple times per year on a periodontal maintenance regime.It should be pointed out that although various studies suggest that there is a strong correlation among people with a history of periodontal disease toward a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, there is not any clear evidence of a causative role between these two disease conditions. However, because of the high correlation and relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, known cardiovascular patients should optimize their periodontal care. There are different options that may be useful in correcting periodontal disease, including regular visits to a dental hygienist, such as our Bellevue Dentistry hygienists, to have periodontal scaling and root planning performed and in some cases to have pharmacological therapy performed.
Inflammation is believed to be a major factor related to both periodontitis and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Pharmacologic therapy can be effective in treating periodontal disease because it is a bacterially induced chronic inflammatory disease. The progression of periodontal disease depends on a variety things, including environmental and genetic factors. Additional factors that have an influence on these two diseases include smoking, diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, major depression, physical inactivity, older age, male gender, and family history of disease. Moderate to severe forms of periodontitis are associated with increased systemic inflammation, which can be present from the very early stages of atherosclerosis and can continue to play a role in subsequent cardiovascular complications. Consequently, the incidence of cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction, is increased in the presence of chronic inflammatory conditions, including peridontal disease. Bacterial infection also may be another direct link between periodontal and cardiovascular diseases, because the same species of gram-negative anaerobic bacteria that are found in periodontally diseased pockets around the teeth are the same as those found in atherosclerotic plaques in arteries.
Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent and control periodontal disease. People without periodontal disease should visit their dentist twice a year for check ups and routine tooth cleanings. If periodontal disease is detected, then dental visits will be need to made once every 4-months to control the disease. In advanced cases of gum disease, it may be necessary to visit your dentist every 3-months. For patients with advanced periodontal disease, their care might require being under the partial or total supervision of specialist called a periodontist rather than just a general dentist. In our Bellevue Cosmetic Dentist Office, we often have patients with advanced periodontal disease alternate their visits between our office twice per year with visits to a specialist periodontist twice per year.