Oral Bacteria and Heart Disease
The dental profession has an incredible ability to not only treat your teeth and gums, but to help you prevent all kinds of bad things that can start in your mouth.
Below is a sample report of a specific saliva DNA test called, MyPerioPath® test. This result shows this particular patient is considered to be at high risk for various systemic diseases, including atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, dementia and several types of cancer.
There are three types of bacteria on the high-risk therapeutic threshold. Also, the bacterial species Pg and Td are very transmissible and tissue invasive, even at low amounts. The photo below shows the systemic effects of oral bacteria on the body.
Chronic gum disease, involving Aa, Pg, Tf and Fn, is a risk factor for the development of certain cancers including ones involving the pancreas, esophagus, colon, lungs, head and neck. Additionally, untreated gum disease is a cause of ongoing inflammation, which promotes the growth of tumors.
Select bacteria, such as Aa, Td, Tf, Pg and Fn, can leak from blood vessels in the gums and travel to the heart, where cholesterol and other lipids are already deposited. These bacteria can produce inflammation in the arteries, and if occluded, cause a heart attack.
A goal of treatment is to minimize the level of these bacteria as much as, and, as long as possible.
Joint and Musculoskeletal Health
The periodontal bacteria Pg, Fn, and Ec are a cause of arthritis. The oral inflammation caused by these bacteria also leads to total body inflammation, which combined with changes in a person’s immune system, may result in chronic joint disease like rheumatoid arthritis.
Dementia and Brain Health
Recent medical studies point to poor health, and high levels of the bacteria Pg, Cr, Cs in our gums, increasing the risk of developing dementia, such as Alzheimer’s.
Obesity, lack of exercise and chronic gum disease involving the bacteria Aa, Td, Tf, Pg, and Fn cause chronic inflammation. Inflammation can damage the pancreas where insulin is produced, possibly leading to diabetes. Also, diabetes worsens oral health by increasing the level of harmful bacteria in the gums.
Bacteria associated with gum disease, especially Aa, Tf, Pg, Fn and Ec are known to put pregnancy at risk for pre-term birth, decreased birth weight and even blood infection in the placenta or new born. Every pregnant woman should be tested for these harmful bacteria.
These deadly oral bacteria find their way in the bloodstream and cause harm to our arteries. The most common form of inflammation (gum disease) contributes to our body’s inflammatory burden. The detection of risks as early as possible, like the presence of high-risk oral bacteria, can help prevent a serious cardiovascular event from happening.
So, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to get your mouth checked for all these potential problems. Frankly, you should have your mouth checked often.