Dr Gene A Clifton, DDS  908 N Fountain Ave Springfield, OH 45504 937.325.9213


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The eyes may be the window to your soul, but for a look into your physical health, open wide: Your teeth and gums say a mouthful. Receding or inflamed gums, cavities, tooth loss, gingivitis, and other dental dilemmas in adults can indicate the presence of serious health problems — including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, vitamin deficiencies, and even the risk of having a premature or low-birth-weight baby. These dental problems can result from poor dental hygiene such as not brushing well or not flossing regularly. But even by following your dentist’s golden rule, you may still be hurting your overall health

The new findings show that gum disease has a direct impact on the health of blood vessels. Tackling problems in the mouth enhances the ability of arteries to open up. A group of 120 patients with severe periodontitis were given either a standard or especially intensive course of treatment.

The intensive treatment included clearing away bacteria-filled plaque, and the extraction of teeth that were no longer safely rooted in the gum. At first, the function of blood vessels of intensively treated patients appeared to worsen. But after 60 days they had improved, compared with those of patients given the standard treatment. After 180 days a difference of two per cent was seen between the two groups. Dilation of the arteries in response to blood-flow was increased. This occurred at the same time as the patient’s gums became healthier.

The findings from scientists at University College London (UCL) and the University of Connecticut in the US were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Professor John Deanfield, and Co-researcher Dr Aroon Hingorani, from the UCL Division of Medicine, said: “Intriguing links have emerged between inflammation and heart disease and so it is important to better understand the nature of this connection, and whether it could lead to the development of new treatments. The current study points to disease of the gums as a potential source of this inflammation.”

The precise mechanism by which gum disease affects the function of blood-vessel cell-walls is uncertain. Gum disease involves infection by bacteria which invade tissue around the teeth. One possibility is that some of these bacteria enter the bloodstream and damage the arteries. Another is that they trigger a low-grade inflammatory response throughout the body.

That may explain a recent jaw-dropping study in the journal Circulation that links any of five common dental problems with an increased risk of heart disease. The kicker: Dental problems proved to be stronger predictors of heart disease than more traditionally used risks factors such as low “good” cholesterol, high triglycerides, or high levels a clotting factor called fibrinogen.

Narinder K Saini M.D.

What Your Dentist Knows About Your Health

To make an appointment with Dr Clifton, call (937) 325-9213 or email by clicking here.



Dr Gene A Clifton, DDS
908 N Fountain Ave
Springfield, OH 45504