Gum disease, Heart Attacks and Strokes
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACVD) consists of a number of diseases including coronary heart disease (angina/heat attack), Ischemic cerebrovascular disease (stroke/mini stroke/TIA) and peripheral vascular disease. For ease we will simply call then cardiovascular diseases.
Gum disease is a progressive chronic inflammatory disease which over time causes destruction of the bone and gums supporting teeth, which results in loss of teeth and associated function.
The relationship between gum disease and cardiovascular disease
The relationship between gum disease and cardiovascular diseases has been proven in many studies and scientific meetings where the evidence has been reviewed by experts from across the world. The risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack increases in people with gum disease and was also shown to be age and gender related.
In gum disease bacteria produce endotoxins which cause a inflammatory response and enter the blood stream through the gums. These endotoxins cause your body to respond and produce mediators which promote the development and maturation of fatty lesions in the arteries, which in turn increase the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
As well as the endotoxins entering the bloodstream, bacteria also enter the bloodstream and have been isolated living in the clots found to be involved in both heart attacks and strokes. It is thought that the presence of these bacteria causes antibodies to be produced which then cross react with the cells in the walls of the arteries and lipids within the blood.
How we can help you
Having healthy gums is not a magic cure to stop you ever having a heart attack or stroke, however the link between gum disease an the risk of having a heart attack or stroke is very clear. As part of improving your general health and reducing this risk, identifying and treating gums disease if therefore vitally important.
We have a dedicated team of dental hygienists and therapists who provide supportive therapy and routine maintenance to our patients.
You don’t have to be a registered patient with us to see our periodontal team, in fact many patients come to us either as a self referral or on referral from their own dentist.
How do I book an appointment?
1. Register as a patient for your regular dental care. (Please insert a link to the contact page)
2. See one of our hygiene team for an initial assessment (with direct access and our ‘Simply Dental Care’ programme you do not need to see a dentist to see a dental hygienist or dental therapist.
3. If you have your own dentist, chat to them first, they may be able to refer you to see a hygienist at your own practice. If you have already seen a dental hygienist at your own practice and your gum disease is not improving your dentist can refer you to see us for more specialist help by clicking here. (Please insert link to the referral page).
What can I do myself?
Good oral hygiene is the key to maintaining healthy gums, which starts with what you do at home and more specifically your oral hygiene (cleaning) routine. The plaque and bacteria that cause gum disease are soft and sticky and are easily removed with a toothbrush. Once the plaque has hardened its is called tartar or calculus and is nearly impossible to remove yourself.
Tooth brushing technique is one of the most important things, yet it always amazes us that very few people have ever been shown how to effectively brush their teeth. You can have the fanciest toothbrush in the world, but if you don’t know how to use if properly it will never work as effectively as it should! Letting us show you how to effectively clean your teeth will help prevent future problems and will also save you money in the longer term, as you will need to see us less.
It is important to remember that 30-40% of the gum and tooth surface is between your teeth, so if you are not using anything to clean in between your teeth such as interdental brushes or floss/tape you are missing up to 40% of the mouth
We are members of the BSP (British Society of Periodontology) which is the UK’s leading authority on gum disease and is at the forefront of advancing research and knowledge into gum disease. This gives us access to the latest publications, treatment guidelines and research to ensure we are treating our patients to the highest standards.