Dental professionals should promote a message that a strong biologic connection exists between oral and systemic health. Therefore, having a good understanding of oral health and systemic health is beneficial and can help you protect yourself. Streptococcus mutants, the bacteria found in periodontal infection are also the bacteria found in many of the cardiovascular diseases. This establishes a strong relationship between these two conditions.
Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Diseases under the heart disease umbrella include blood vessel diseases, heart rhythm problems, and heart defects. The major cause of this is a build-up of fatty plaques in the arteries. Plaque build-up thickens and stiffens the vessel walls, which can inhibit blood flow through the arteries to organs and tissues.
Periodontal disease also known as periodontitis is the inflammatory disease of the supporting tissues of the teeth caused by specific microorganisms resulting in progressive destruction of the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone with pocket formation, recession, or both. This includes gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gingiva and is the milder form. This later on progresses to periodontitis and is a more severe form. Periodontitis affects the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, and cementum.
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... the gingiva. The tissue damage that occurs in gingivitis results in reversible destruction to the tissues of the periodontium. Some of the risk factors contributing to gingivitis include the following (American Academy of Periodontology, 2014):
• Genetic predisposition
• Systemic diseases and conditions
• Inadequate nutrition
• Hormonal fluctuations
• HIV infection
Signs & Symptoms of Gingivitis
Some of the classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis shown in Figure 8. Include the following (WebMD, n.d.):
•Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
•Red, swollen, or tender gums
•Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
Figure 8. Signs and Symptoms of gingivitis. Webmaster. April 9, 2014. “Gingivitis.” Retrieved from http://www.drslootsky.com/dental-blog/gingivitis.php
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