Several studies have come out recently pointing to a very strong link between gum disease and heart disease. Scientists are still working out the exact reasons why, but the evidence from these is so strong that there is no doubt to many that the link between the two is solid. The studies show that almost all patients with heart disease also had some stage of gum disease.
Heart disease has long been the deadliest disease in the United States, and still manages to kill over 600,000 people in our country every year, according to the CDC. We’ve been grappling with this problem for a long time, and most people are aware of long-standing links of obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise and even smoking to increased risk and the epidemic of heart disease in America. While these links are still true, and still very important factors when looking at the patterns of this illness across the country, gum disease is now coming to light within the scientific and medical communities. So let’s explore more about what gum disease is.
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque, bacteria, and food particles and an overall lack of hygiene and care. If this persists, the gums become infected by the bacteria and eventually become very inflamed. Treating gum disease is a long a difficult process, and treatment procedures can be painful and unpleasant. Not only does this affect your gums and overall oral health, having all of that bacteria and inflammation in your mouth, but there is a link between gum disease and your overall health.
We know heart disease is epidemic, it accounts for almost 1 out of every 4 deaths in the United States. What if we told you that gum disease is common among many adult patients, but because most patients don’t die from direct causes of gum disease it’s not seen as such a threat? Many patients also avoid going to the dentist, so the disease remains widely under-diagnosed.
According to the CDC, the United States spends over $100 billion annually on heart disease. That’s a lot of money! The United States also spends just $2 billion annually on dental products… what would happen if we made an adjustment here?