When you think of dental health, you probably think of things like cavities, teeth whitening treatments, and braces. But what if we told you that your gums could give you a clue about your heart health? Intriguing, right?
At Babylon Dental Care, we know that maintaining your oral health is essential to your overall well-being. New research has demonstrated a deep connection between periodontal disease and high cholesterol, which contributes to many heart health issues. Join us as we explore the surprising link between periodontal disease and high cholesterol.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
First things first: What is periodontal disease?
More commonly called gum disease, periodontal disease is when the gums become swollen, sore, or infected. It usually starts as gingivitis, which is when your gums might bleed a bit when you brush or floss. If left untreated, it can develop into a more severe form where the tissues and bones that support the teeth can become damaged. If this happens, it can lead to loose teeth or even tooth loss.
Severe periodontitis affects nearly 750 million people worldwide. In the United States alone, it affects approximately 47.2 percent of adults aged 30 years and older.
How Gum Disease Impacts Heart Health
Researchers recently conducted a study to see if there was a connection between high cholesterol and gum disease. They looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which took place from 2017 to 2020. In this study, more than 7,000 people aged 30 and up answered questions about their health, including whether they had high cholesterol or gum disease.
What They Found
Of the participants, about 23 percent reported having gum disease, while 52 percent said they had high cholesterol levels. When researchers looked closely at the data, they discovered that those with high cholesterol were slightly more likely to have gum disease. However, it’s worth noting that they also considered other factors, like age, lifestyle, and overall health, which could play a role in these findings.
What Does It All Mean?
While the study did find a link between high cholesterol and gum disease, it’s essential to understand that this doesn’t mean one causes the other. The relationship is there, but more research is needed to understand the exact nature of this connection. Nevertheless, this study reminds us of the intricate ties between oral health and overall well-being.
Take Care of Your Teeth, Take Care of Your Heart
While the link between high cholesterol and gum disease is alarming, having gingivitis does not mean you’re about to have a heart attack. That said, taking care of your teeth may help mitigate your risk of heart health issues.
At Babylon Dental Care, we know that good oral health is the foundation of a healthy life. Our experienced and compassionate staff can address any issues with your teeth or gums, including periodontal disease. We will make your visit as pleasant as possible and offer flexible payment options to fit your needs. Call (631) 983-6665 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.