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  • Writer's pictureEric Goulder, MD, FACC

Healthy Smile, Healthy Heart

July is Smile Makeover Month at Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Central Ohio and Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus!

What does your smile have to do with your heart, you may be wondering. We’d love to tell you! With a whole body approach to healthcare using the BaleDoneen Method, Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Central Ohio knows that oral health is crucial to heart attack and stroke prevention. 2,200 people die every day in this country due to cardiovascular disease and the state of our oral health tells a bigger story than what you might think.

The Bacteria Highway

Bacteria in the mouth creates a biofilm. This biofilm may contain many different types of bacteria. We know that certain bacteria are more dangerous than others and we have successfully identified several hazardous strains that can be definitively associated with many chronic inflammatory diseases. Unfortunately, these high-risk oral bacteria can travel throughout the body, from a bleeding gum, and compromise other areas of the body, including the brain, arteries, heart, and other critical organs.

Two is Not Always Better Than One

80% of adults 30 years or older have some form of gum disease. The most serious form being periodontitis, which accounts for about half. 47% of people in the United States have at least one risk factor for heart disease, according to the CDC. These factors include diabetes, obesity, poor diet, excessive alcohol use, and smoking. Introducing an additional health challenge such as a harmful bacterial infection puts these individuals on a path to increased risk of comorbidities. Comorbidity is the presence of two or more diseases in the same person. When the introduction of this pathogenic oral bacteria into the rest of the body can easily be prevented, why wait? Preventative healthcare is the answer to halting this domino effect and through a simple saliva test, we can test you for these pathogenic oral bacteria.

Spotlight on Inflammation

There’s a reason why everyone’s talking about inflammation right now, actually there are several. The vast majority of Americans experience chronic inflammation, often without even realizing it. Chronic inflammation can lead to cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, and more. This chronic asymptomatic inflammation can be causing damage in your body for decades, before traditional medical care will catch it. The buildup of plaque in the arteries that is associated with heart disease is part of the inflammatory process. When these bacteria in the mouth go unchecked, the gums become inflamed and this allows bacteria to travel through your bloodstream to other areas of the body. With advanced technology and testing, we can easily spot this chronic, asymptomatic inflammation, preventing you from a future of chronic disease.

Stop Guessing and Start Testing

As part of the medical dental collaboration, Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Central Ohio provides a variety of testing–including inflammatory testing–to give you a clear picture of your health and create your personalized healthcare plan. Schedule your appointment today!


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