Bad Teeth Lead to Heart Woes

Bad teeth may not just be all about that sudden shooting pain when having a cold drink.

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A recent study by the Maulana Azad Dental College has shown a correlation between gum diseases and high levels of triglycerides in blood.

“Gum infection can affect blood vessels in the teeth and carry harmful bacteria to the heart. It is also an important marker of diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, etc,”says Dr Mahesh Verma, principal, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences.

Dental hygiene, doctors feel is often neglected for a variety of reasons. A demand for cosmetic correction and fixing of dental problem far exceeds the most basic need of oral hygiene, which can drastically reduce dental complications. Dentists say that 90% of Indians suffer from gum disease and a majority of them don’t even know about these.

Despite the knowledge that dental hygiene is a must, the common belief is that dental prophylaxis (cleaning of teeth and gums) damages teeth and weakens gums, thereby resulting in mobile teeth.

Dentists say it is a myth.”It is vice-versa. If you don’t get regular prophylaxis done every six months, it will result in chronic gum diseases and weaken the gums and result in mobile teeth or complete teeth loss. A lot of patients come to us with dental problem and we find that the root cause of their problem is chronic gum diseases.

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Despite making them understand the importance of regular prophylaxis, patients don’t turn up the next time,”says Dr Pravesh Miglani, director dentistry, Fortis Healthcare.

The most common gum diseases are gingivitis and periodontitis. And dentists say that nearly 95% Indians suffer from some degree of gingivitis.”When the tartar, which is the mineralised form of plaque, is left unclean for long it starts affecting the gums.

Particles get deposited between the tooth and gums. Bacteria acting on these particles produces toxins that causes inflammation of the gums. It results in redness, swelling and itching of gums,”says Dr Ajay Sharma, senior consultant, dentist, Max Healthcare.

It can only be cleaned during prophylaxis and not by a normal toothbrush. As it is left untreated, over the years it develops pockets or cavity in periodontium and results in inflammation.

“It is not like other diseases that it happens in select cases. Gingivitis is seen in almost 99% cases and periodontitis is a stage after gingivitis.

Periodontitis is the most common problem in adults,”says Dr Bela Jain, senior consultant, dentist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Sources: The Times Of India

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