periodontitis and heart health Essay

Submitted By arzoahmadi86
Words: 679
Pages: 3

Periodontitis and Heart Disease A majority of Americans are unaware that their heart health is linked to their oral health. A recent study done by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reports that half of Americans suffer from some form of gingival disease (perio.org). Now, heart disease is among the top diseases in the nation and worldwide that people suffer and die from. By preventing periodontal disease, patients may lower the risk of cardiovascular problems. Pathogens that are involved in periodontal disease can travel in the blood stream and affect the heart resulting to an unexpected cardiovascular disease. First, the term “periodontitis” should be defined. Periodontitis means “inflammation around the tooth”. It’s a serious gingival infection that damages soft tissues and bone which supports the teeth. All periodontal diseases, including periodontitis, are infections which affect the periodontium. The periodontium are the tissues around a tooth and tissues that support the teeth. In periodontitis, the alveolar bone around the teeth is slowly and progressively lost. (Nield-Gehrig & Willmann, 2011)
Cardiovascular disease is disease of the heart and blood vessels and it may include numerous problems that are related through a process called arthrosclerosis . Arthrosclerosis is a condition that develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This build up narrows the arteries making it difficult for blood flowing through these arteries. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow and result in a heart attack or stroke. The different types of cardiovascular problems are: heart attack, which is due to a clot in an artery and blood flow is insufficient, heart failure, which means the heart does not pump blood as well as it should, arrhythmia- which is irregular beating of the heart, stenosis, which indicates a valve problem in the heart.
The American Academy of Periodontology report that people who have periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease, which is heart disease. Various studies conducted in the last decade have found that common problems in the mouth like gingivitis, missing teeth, and dental caries were good indicators of a more serious problem like heart disease.
The problem with effectively motivating people to link the relationship between oral health and heart health is the lack of a direct cause-and-affect connection. Most people believe that heart health is linked to only genetics, cholesterol, or other factors. One of the major causes of oral disease is smoking. Smoking can lead to oral cancer and can also affect the arteries of the heart by clogging them with fatty build ups. Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products can lead to gingival diseases by…