The connection between heart disease and oral health

In an articles published February 20017 from Harvard Medical School they state:

Could the millions of bacteria in your mouth cause problems for your heart and blood vessels?  Could something as simple as brushing your teeth and having good oral hygiene prevent cardiovascular problems?

“The notion that problems in the mouth cause diseases elsewhere in the body makes sense but has been difficult to prove, explains the Harvard Heart Letter. Scientists are exploring several mechanisms that may connect the two processes. In people with periodontitis (erosion of tissue and bone that support the teeth), chewing and toothbrushing release bacteria into the bloodstream. Several species of bacteria that cause periodontitis have been found in the atherosclerotic plaque in arteries in the heart and elsewhere. This plaque can lead to heart attack.

Oral bacteria could also 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.

Although we sill have a lot to learn about whether, and how, periodontitis and other oral problems are linked to heart disease, the Harvard Heart Letter notes that it still makes good sense to take care of your teeth. Brush and floss every day, and see your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings and oral exams. This will pay off for your oral health and just may benefit your heart as well.”

Dr. Jessica and Dr. Stevenson would be happy to answer any questions you may have about your daily oral hygiene routine or if you would like to schedule a cleaning. 

What is Orofacial Pain?

achy-tooth

Orofacial pain includes a number of clinical problems involving the chewing (masticatory) muscles or temporomandibular joint. Problems can include temporomandibular joint discomfort; muscle spasms in the head, neck and jaw; migraines, cluster or frequent headaches; or pain with the teeth, face or jaw.

You swallow approximately 2,000 times per day, which causes the upper and lower teeth to come together and push against the skull. People who have an unstable bite, missing teeth or poorly aligned teeth can have trouble because the muscles work harder to bring the teeth together, causing strain. Pain also can be caused by clenching or grinding teeth, trauma to the head and neck or poor ergonomics.

Some people may experience pain in the ears, eyes, sinuses, cheeks or side of the head. Others experience painful clicking when moving the jaw or even locking if the jaw is opened or closed.

If you are experiencing any of these types of pain, Dr Jessica and Dr Stevenson are happy to help.  Please call for an appointment today.

For more information click HERE or HERE.