According to the European Society of Cardiology, there is a direct link between periodontal diseases and heart diseases. In fact, patients with periodontal lesions are 25% more likely to suffer from heart disease. For this reason, on World Oral Health Day, a mobile dental clinic specializing in oral care for the elderly living in nursing homes is raising awareness of the importance of caring for oral health as a way to prevent cardiovascular risks. wants.
Periodontitis is an inflammatory and infectious disease that affects the gums and the bone that surrounds the teeth, caused by bacteria. and other microorganisms of the oral flora Which can get into the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, increasing the risk of contracting or worsening heart diseases”, explains Dr. Luciano Bermejo, a dentist in Sarmade.
With approximately 120,000 deaths per year, heart diseases are the leading cause of death in Spain. Although a sedentary life, obesity and smoking are the main cardiovascular risk factors, various cardiology associations have included the presence of periodontal disease among these risk factors.
For this reason, Dr. Bermejo explains that it is very important that patients with cardiac injuries “pay special attention to their oral care. They should be placed in the hands of experts to detect and prevent potential complications, so that the relevant review can be done in a timely manner.”
Although it has become clear that people with periodontitis are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases, it is not always easy to detect.
For this reason, Dr. Bermejo explains what we should look for in assessing the need to visit the dentist:
- Red and swollen gums. Suffering from this symptom may indicate that we are in the early stages of periodontal disease. “We can suffer from gingivitis, which, if not treated on time, can turn into periodontitis. In this process, the bacteria involved in periodontal lesions will pass through the bloodstream, increasing the risk of heart disease”, explains the Sarmed specialist.
- Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth. If, despite maintaining correct oral hygiene, we are unable to improve these symptoms, there may be more significant injuries that need to be evaluated.
- long teeth. The presence of long teeth may indicate a loss of support from periodontal tissues, which should be evaluated by a dentist.
- Diastemas, or spaces between teeth that didn’t exist before and teeth that move, “report that periodontal tissue is not doing its job and we should investigate what may be behind it,” says Dr. Bermejo says.
preventive measures and treatments
Maintaining a correct daily oral hygiene habit is the best preventive measure for both the related oral and cardiovascular problems.
Dr. Bermejo highlights the following preventive measures:
- Inform experts in each area about possible injuries to be detected. “In this way, it will be possible to have an interaction between the dentist and the cardiologist, which helps to assess the complications that may appear and, therefore, better control the disease in each area,” they said. Insist on.
- Proper oral hygiene. To do this, in addition to a toothbrush, you should use complementary methods for oral hygiene: mouthwash, dental floss, tongue scrapers, etc.
- People who are more likely to suffer from heart and mouth disease should eat a balanced diet and do physical activity. In short, lead a healthy life.
- Avoid tobacco use because of the harm it causes at the oral and systemic level.
- Preventive review of the specialists involved: dentists and cardiologists. “We can very rapidly detect all disease processes that may involve subsequent complications,” he says.
For all of the above, Dr. Bermejo highlights the importance of taking care of oral health to enjoy good general health and prevent many diseases, such as heart disease, in this case. “Enjoying good oral health is a reflection of the general condition of the organism. The oral cavity may present signs and symptoms that provide information about the general condition of the body”, he concluded.