At our Calgary dental office, our recall and comprehensive exams are designed to ensure optimal oral health. During these exams we check for a number of issues including periodontal disease and oral cancer. Catching early signs of mouth cancer increases the chance of survival and catching periodontal disease early prevents extensive damage to your teeth, gums and even your heart.
Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease
Periodontal disease refers to an infection of the structure around the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. The first sign of periodontal diseases affects the gums, but over time it will affect all of the tissues involved.
Periodontal disease is often linked to heart disease. Research indicates that patients with poor oral health, including periodontal disease, are at two to three times higher risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks or strokes.
It’s commonly believed that the bacteria caused by periodontal disease is the main reason for the association with heart disease. When bacteria caused by periodontal disease enter the bloodstream, they attach to the fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels, which can lead to blood clots and increases the risk for heart attacks.
Researchers and studies have taken periodontal disease a step further and have found a strong link between gum disease and the development of certain cancers as well as the increased likelihood of heart disease.
Periodontal Disease & Oral Cancer Symptoms: Are you at Risk?
Anyone can be at risk of periodontal disease and oral cancer, but there are a few factors that increase the likelihood of developing oral cancer disease.
Tobacco and alcohol consumption are both major risk factors. If you smoke tobacco or have in the past, your chances of developing oral cancer increase astronomically. Similarly, alcohol consumption can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. If you have a history of using either, ensure you book routine check-ups with your Calgary dentist every 6 months.
Regardless of whether you have a history of smoking or consuming alcohol, you can still develop oral cancer. The risk is merely increased with prolonged use of tobacco and alcohol. Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women, with most being over the age of 55.
Detecting the First Signs of Gum Disease at Canyon Dental
If you have a history of heart disease or periodontal disease, it’s essential to maintain proper oral health. If you notice any inflammation or bleeding in the mouth, you may be at risk of certain oral bacteria entering the bloodstream and weakening heart valves or tissue. In these cases, the infection can damage or even destroy heart valves or tissue.
Our comprehensive exams include screenings for gum disease and oral cancer to determine if there is any need for concern. If we detect any abnormalities, we will refer you to a specialist for further examinations and care.