For decades, researchers have probed the link between gum disease and cardiovascular health. Gum disease begins when the sticky, bacteria-laden film dentists refer to as plaque builds up around teeth. A completely different type of plaque — made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in blood — can build up inside arteries. Known as atherosclerosis, this fatty plaque is the hallmark of coronary artery disease.
People with gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular event. But there may not be a direct connection. Many people with heart disease have healthy gums, and not everyone with gum disease develops heart problems. Shared risk factors, such as smoking or an unhealthy diet, may explain the association. Still there’s a growing suspicion that gum disease may be an independent risk factor for heart disease.
The inflammation link
“Periodontal disease increases the body’s burden of inflammation,” says periodontist Dr. Hatice Hasturk of the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Institute, a not-for-profit research organization focused on oral health. Acute inflammation — which involves an outpouring of immune cells that attack irritants and microbial invaders — fosters healing over the short term. But long-term (chronic) inflammation is a key contributor to many health problems, especially atherosclerosis.
Dental cavities could significantly increase the risk of a life-threatening stroke from bleeding in the brain, according to new research.
Past studies have shown a link between gum infection and stroke, but few studies have looked into what role dental cavities might play. In the new study, researchers looked specifically at cavities and intracerebral stroke, which occur when an artery in the brain bursts and floods surrounding tissue with blood.
Researchers looked at data from 6,506 people without stroke, and then followed them for 30 years. For the first 15 years, those who developed cavities had a slightly higher risk for stroke from brain bleed, but their risk shot up dramatically in the next 15 years.
In the second half of the study period, people with cavities had 4.5 times higher risk of a stroke from brain bleed than those without cavities, after adjusting for age, gender, race and high blood pressure.
As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda in December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.
What Have 43 percent of American Adults Lost—That They Hated To Lose—Over Which They Had Complete Control—And That Was VERY Preventable?
The answer is their Teeth! Yes, it’s true, 43 percent of Americans have lost some or even all of their teeth by the time they’ve reached age 45. And, what a shame that is, because our teeth are really designed to last a lifetime, although that won’t happen automatically, without our own personal effort.
There’s nothing like a beautiful smile to impress people we meet or make us feel good about ourselves. And there’s no replacing a set of healthy teeth for chewing food or even speaking properly.
Dental cavities are declining in the U.S. because of fluoridation programs and better tooth care products.
Tooth loss is usually caused by the condition of the gums, known as periodontal disease, which is the loss of connective tissue and bone that support the teeth. It starts before you can see it, usually from improper care. Continue reading →