Recent researcher has indicated that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. In an effort to prevent this, it is good to know and understand how to recognizing periodontal disease to prevent heart disease.

The findings suggested that individuals with higher than average cholesterol have an increased risk of developing periodontal disease, so maintaining good health still largely comes down to diet and exercise as the most significant factors of prevention.

However, early recognition of the signs of periodontal disease can indicate potential heart health complications before they advance into cardiovascular disease. It isn’t an over-exaggeration to believe that maintaining good oral health may ultimately help save lives.

The challenge arises largely due to a patient’s reluctance to accept treatment, and more commonly, taking their dental hygiene for granted.

Steps to Treating Periodontal Disease

Recognizing the link between periodontal disease and heart health, it is important for patients to accept effective treatment. There are other associated other systemic diseases linked to periodontitis and sometimes treatment alone is not enough; treatment must be successful to have an impact. A lack of proper home care contributes to the disease and naturally, inadequent or infrequent dental cleaning can result in tooth loss.

Related: When Can a Dentist Refuse a Cleaning?

Diagnosing the problem early is the first step to effective treatment. Your dentist’s hygiene team should be actively looking for the disease, and advise their patients to have a proper cleaning routine in place.

Patients often don’t understand, or simply ignore, the warning markers of periodontal disease because the initial symptoms of periodontal disease are often silent or do not actually appear until later stages.

The American Academy of Periodontology lists the signs of periodontal disease as:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums or other pain in the mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between the gums and teeth
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A change in the way the teeth fit together when one bites down
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Your dentist may be able to repair the damage caused by periodontal disease by removing the infection and closing up the area. In the past this required painful scraping and scalpel-and-suture surgery. But today, many general dentists and periodontists offer a patient-friendly, less-invasive laser procedure option for an effective treatment that can help alleviate patient fear.