Paso Robles dentist, Lisa Lu David, DMD, has summarized the findings of a recent study linking the connection between adult tooth loss and cardiovascular disease. The findings were presented by Dr. Lu Qi, of Tulane University at the American Heart Association (AHA) March 2018 conference in New Orleans, LA.
The preliminary results are from a study at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study showed that adults who lost two or more teeth had a 23-percent higher risk of heart disease than adults of the same age who had not lost teeth. Adults were between the ages of 45 and 69 and had 25 to 32 natural teeth at the start of the study.
The study adjusted for diet quality, physical activity, body weight, hypertension, and other cardiovascular risk factors. Losing a single tooth during the study period wasn’t associated with a notable increased risk of heart disease.
The study took place over 12 to 18 years. The study author, Lu Qi, M.D., Ph.D., professor of epidemiology at Tulane, noted that tooth loss in middle age is most likely related to inflammation, diabetes, smoking, and poor health.
Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the AHA have acknowledged the relationship between gum disease and heart disease. Gum disease, which can lead to losing teeth, increases the risk of heart disease because inflammation of the gums and bacteria may lead to narrowing of the arteries:
- Gingivitis causes red and painful gums.
- Periodontitis leads to infected pockets of germy pus.
Any infection or inflammation that allows bacteria and other toxins to spread below the gum line can cause complications for the entire body.
Dr. Davis, the Paso Robles dentist, said that losing or breaking one or more teeth as the result of a fall or some other kind of accident doesn’t necessarily cause heart problems. But, neglecting injuries to teeth or to the mouth can cause inflammation and gum disease can be the result.
Loose teeth in adults come either from an injury that loosened or cracked a tooth or from gum disease. Regardless of the cause, loose, broken or missing teeth mean the patient needs immediate attention to prevent further damage.
The best safeguard for healthy teeth and mouth is good dental hygiene. Dr. Davis and the ADA recommend:
- Brushing at least twice a day with an ADA recommended toothpaste
- Daily cleaning between the teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner
- Eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks
- Regular dentist visits for an oral exam and professional cleaning
In the event of an accident that damages teeth or the mouth in general, immediately make an appointment so your dentist can assess and treat the injuries. The Paso Robles dentist also recommends some additional steps to take to help prevent tooth damage:
- Wear an appropriate mouth guard during certain athletic activities
- Ask your dentist to fit you for a mouth guard if you grind your teeth at night
- See your dentist immediately upon breaking a tooth or discovering a tooth is loose
- Drive or ride your bike safely
Dr. Davis has been practicing family dentistry in Paso Robles and the Central Coast since 2007. Her offices are located near the intersection of Golden Hill Road and Union Road, with easy access to plenty of parking.
Building partnerships with every patient to create ideal dental health through preventive care and education are the foundations of Dr. Davis’s services and one of the reasons Paso Robles residents choose Dr. Davis for their dental care.
Lisa Lu Davis, DMD, Inc.
2120 Golden Hill Road, Suite 103
Paso Robles, CA 93446
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