Brand new research by Drs. Amy Doneen and Brad Bale definitively connects cardiovascular disease to bacteria found in periodontal disease! Gum disease and heart disease - one causing the other. This, my friends, is huge, important research!
Why does this matter?Eighty-five million people in the US have some form of cardiovascular disease, and 200 million folks have gum disease. Worldwide statistics are similar.
Additional research also shows that people with periodontal diseases are twice as likely to have heart disease. It can start in your teens, and it's a silent disease- most people don't know they have heart disease until they have a heart attack or stroke. Then it may be too late.
This study is important, not only because it connects the two diseases, but it finally implicates specific periodontal disease bacteria as culprits. This means we can look for these bacteria when we do saliva and plaque biofilm testing.
So! If you have bleeding gums, gum disease, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and/or atherosclerosis in your family history, it may well be time to ask your dentist or your family doc to test your saliva for the following bacterial pathogens:
Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa)
Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg)
Tannerella forsythia (Tf)
Treponema denticola (Td)
Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fn)
Should you be interested in how they are connected- click here. I was trying to simplify that connection but Dr. Nagelberg does a better job. Suffice it to say, the two diseases are finally, and firmly linked.
What to do with this information?Do you want to live a long, healthy life? Then it's time to get rid of those bleeding gums once and for all. Even Gingivitis infection is cause for concern. (Gingivitis is infection located in the gum tissues, with no bone loss. Read more about it by clicking my link here.) Gum disease, just like heart disease, is silent. It DOES NOT HURT, at least until the final stages. Let's be aggressive- eliminate gum disease, and help your heart, arteries and the rest of your body as well! There are so many oral-systemic connections - click here and here if you want more on the latest.
(You know I love lists!) so here are my suggestions:
#1. Demand an OralDNA or Oravital saliva test to look for the above mentioned pathogens. If you are lucky enough to have a dental office with a phase contrast microscope - lucky, lucky you! Test that way too! Then you can actually see the pathogens alive and moving around on a slide. Treponema denticola is a spirochete and very easy to see if they are on a slide! They wiggle like a snake.
Without testing, your dental professionals are working blind and so are you. Sorry to say, but unless you test, you have no idea what is lurking under your gums. Test, test, and retest! If your office doesn't or won't? Time to find one that will. Your health depends on it. It is time to do more than "just a cleaning". (You know how I feel about that.) If you'd like help finding a dental office with a microscope or one that will send in a saliva test, please contact me.
#2. Get an electric tooth brush and use it twice a day. I like to recommend using wet baking soda as toothpaste for at least two minutes.
#3. Purchase a Hydroflosser and irrigate daily with baking soda water, or bleach water ( yes, laundry room 6% bleach diluted at a 1 part bleach to 25 parts water ratio) or Therasol concentrate (diluted 1:8) and get underneath the gumline. Gargle with that solution so you clean your throat and tonsillar region too.
#4. Clean in between your teeth. Got floss? Go get that plaque out. Prefer other tools like TePe or Piksters? Use that instead!
#5. Clean your tongue twice daily. I love my Tongue Sweeper but you can flip over a spoon and scrape with that too.
#6. Retest your saliva and be sure you got the pathogenic bacteria done and gone! If not gone then back to the drawing board and see where you are leaving plaque biofilm.
#7. Stay on top of this. Retest periodically. Have all other family members tested as well, even children. Remember that your bacteria is contagious. Prevention is key here!
Let's start a dental health revolution and eliminate heart disease while we're at it!
I know you were expecting the third installment of Bustin' Dental Myths but this just came across my desk and I had to share. Awareness of The Oral-Systemic Link is crucial to your continued good health.
Happy Spring! Be well my friends and keep smiling!