YES. Your regular visits to the dentist are more important than you may think. In addition to screening for oral cancer and checking for cavities, your dentist also screens for periodontal disease. Also know as gum disease, periodontal disease is a condition caused by buildup of bacteria in the gums around your teeth that results in chronic inflammation, which begins to slowly destroy the supporting bone around your teeth. This does not just affect your mouth. It also affects your cardiovascular system. Chronic inflammation is thought to play a major roll in atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty plaques in the inner wall of the arteries. The American Heart Association is doing further studies to try and pinpoint its exact roll in the heart disease process, and recommends minimizing any source of chronic inflammation in your body. There is generally no discomfort associated with the beginning stages of periodontal disease, so without regular dental care it may go undetected until it is severe . It is also very preventable with regular dental care. In our office, screening for periodontal disease is a part of every hygiene visit.
So, do your heart a favor, and seek regular dental care with a dentist who treats your oral health as a vital component of your overall wellness.
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