Systemic health

Indulgence in Sugary Sodas Can Lead to Poor Oral Health & Cardiovascular Disease

January 24th, 2014

colaThe proven connection between poor oral heath and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should re-enforce the importance of new heath policy creation, focusing on reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks,  say experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Poor oral hygiene and excess amount of sugar in the diet can cause periodontal disease and decay of the teeth-supporting bone. It is thought that chronic infection brought on by gym disease can lead to inflammation that will over time cause heart disease through atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. Despite sufficient evidence of the connection between the poor oral health and premature heart disease, the recent suggested UK national guidance on Cardiovascular disease prevention at population level does not suggest the strong need to reduce sugar consumption.

Dr Ahmed Rashid, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, who co-wrote the paper, said: "As well as having high levels of fats and salt, junk foods often contain a great deal of sugar and the effect this has on oral health may be an important additional mechanism by which junk food elevates risk of CVD." He added: "Among different types of junk food, soft drinks have raised particular concerns and are the main source of free sugar for many individuals."

The authors refer to the well-knows  New York 'soda ban' controversy which has brought a lot of attention to the issue. They stress more can be done about making the sugary sodas dominating the public areas in the United States. Dr Rashid said: "The UK population should be encouraged to reduce fizzy drink intake and improve oral hygiene. Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life."

Reference: http://goo.gl/ppiqpM

Cholesterol Medication Can Help Decrease Gum Inflammation

December 12th, 2013

youngoldHeart disease is one of the leading health issues in the United States. Arteries within the body become inflamed and patients are often recommended to take medication that lowers cholesterol

Statins is a commonly prescribed medication that helps patients with heart disease. But what’s more is that a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology demonstrated that statins can also be beneficial for those suffering from gum disease.

Periodontal disease is marked by chronic gum inflammation that affects approximately half of the U.S. adult population. Dr. Ahmed Tawkol of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School notes that there is a connections between heart and gum disease: both periodontitis and atherosclerosis are driven by inflammation. These inflammatory conditions are often seen to occur together, indicating to researchers that their biologies may be related.

A study was administered to test this theory. Patients with either heart disease or considered to have high heart disease risk were asked to take 80 mg of statin or 10 mg of stain daily for 12 weeks. PET/CT scans were used to observe inflammation over the course of the study. Results indicated that the 59 patients in the study demonstrated a significant reduction in gum inflammation, some after only 4 weeks of treatment. The researchers also found that the improvement of inflammation in the gums related closely with the improvement seen in inflammation in the arteries.

This study provides strong evidence that links atherosclerosis and periodontal disease. This research opens doors to new methods of treatments. Because of the relationship between these two diseases, medications that originally targeted one of these diseases may also be beneficial for the other. These results also points to better and improved oral hygiene to reduce inflammation in the gums can also lead to reduced atherosclerosis.

This study again shows the strong relationship between oral health and overall systemic health. Maintaining proper oral care can really go a long way for the body as a whole. Keeping up with oral hygiene can truly lead to a healthier smile and a healthier you!

If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to ask Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group or our periodontist, Dr. Ghazwan Ghazi. We would all be more than happy to help. Please contact us at (781)237-9071 or email smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

 

References:

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131002185652.htm

http://consumer.healthday.com/dental-and-oral-information-9/misc-dental-problem-news-174/statins-drugs-may-boost-your-gums-health-too-680723.html

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20131002/cholesterol-drugs-may-boost-your-gums-health-too

 http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2013/article/ADA-10-Mouth-Changes-May-Be-Related-To-Menopause.cvsp

 

Finding the Bacterial Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease

September 16th, 2013

Over the years, researchers have been able to demonstrate the importance of oral health in relation to systemic, or overall, health. Keeping up with oral hygiene has been shown to not only affect the oral cavity, but also various areas in the body. Oral health has been linked to the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and various other conditions. Researchers have been well aware of the strong association between oral health and these health conditions, but continue to look into the root cause and mechanisms that result in these links.

 

However, a research group at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry Oral Health and Systemic Diseases recently published their findings in PloS Pathogens, revealing the bacterium that is responsible for periodontal disease.  They found that the bacterium, Prophromonas gingivalis, leads to a faster progression of gum disease, increasing cartilage and bone destruction. Their research indicated that P. gingivalis produces an enzyme, peptidylarginine deiminanse (PAD), which increases collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). This enzyme makes the body believe that there are intruding proteins within the body, inducing an immune attack. This results in chronic inflammation, which accounts for the weakening of bone and cartilage within the joints.

 

This research group was able to show that there is a viable link between P. gingivalis periodontal infection and rheumatoid arthritis; however, more research needs to be done to verify these finds. Hopefully further research can bring about new strategies to prevent RA. These studies also should encourage individuals to maintain good oral hygiene. It is always important to keep in mind that brushing and flossing not only keeps the mouth clean, but also keeps the entire body healthy. Please feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

 

 

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dental/DE00001

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912203327.htm

http://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-highlights/how-bad-gums-lead-to-arthritis/81248849/

http://arthritisbroadcastnetwork.org/2013/09/gum-disease-may-be-an-indication-of-rheumatoid-arthritis/

 

 

 

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