Advanced Restorative Dentistry Can Promote Heart Health By Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. on April 26, 2015

Retired couple on the couch at homeYou know that it is important to take care of your teeth. Brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist can prevent cavities and keep your smile looking bright and healthy. However, did you know that good dental care is also important for your heart health? Gum disease is a serious oral health concern, and it has been linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Of course, the best way to treat gum disease is to prevent it in the first place. However, Dr. O’Keefe also offers restorative dentistry treatments using advanced technology. These procedures can eliminate oral bacteria, save your smile, and reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke. To learn more about dental care and heart health, contact our Jackson practice today.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a common condition and the leading cause of adult tooth loss. It arises when oral bacteria build up in your mouth. Initially, you may only experience some sensitivity and redness. This initial phase is known as gingivitis, and it is reversible. However, as bacteria multiply, they will form pockets in your gum tissue. At this point, the condition is known as periodontitis. Although it cannot be cured, proper treatment can keep bacteria at bay and prevent tooth loss. Symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Moderate to severe gum sensitivity
  • Bleeding
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum recession
  • Jawbone recession

What Does Gum Disease Have to Do with Your Heart?

Along with the effects it can have on your smile, gum disease may impact your cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association® states that there is an undeniable link between gum disease and heart disease, although they are not sure of the exact nature of the connection. However, many scientists believe that gum disease actually raises your risk for heart attack and stroke. They posit that oral bacteria enter your blood stream and attach to fat cells, forming blood clots. Others speculate that an increase of bacteria leads to an inflammation of the blood vessels. Scientists continue to research this connection. However, their discoveries emphasize the importance of proper periodontal care.

Gum Disease Treatment

If you currently enjoy good oral health, you should maintain proper hygiene to protect your smile. Brush at least twice a day. Floss and use antibacterial mouthwash at least once. You should also schedule appointments with your dentist every six months. Dr. O’Keefe and his team will clean your teeth and check for early warning signs of gingivitis.

If you have already developed gum disease, it is important to treat the condition as soon as possible. Although there is no cure, ongoing maintenance can reduce your risk for dental damage and cardiovascular problems. A deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is often the most effective solution. Dr. O’Keefe will clean out pockets of bacteria. He will also smooth your dental roots to keep bacteria from accumulating on the rough patches. We proudly use advanced tools and magnification devices so we can provide highly accurate treatment with minimal discomfort.

Protect Your Smile and Your Healthy Heart

Be proactive about your oral-systemic health. Contact our office today to schedule a routine exam or to receive treatment for gum disease.

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Dr. Danny O'Keefe

Family Dental Care

At Family Dental Care in Flowood, MS, Dr. Danny O'Keefe and his experienced team provide patients from throughout the greater Jackson area with superior general, cosmetic, and restorative dental care. Our office is equipped with modern dental technology and we offer complete sedation services to enhance patient comfort. Dr. O'Keefe is affiliated with:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The Mississippi Dental Association
  • The Academy of General Dentistry
  • The American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

To schedule an appointment, please fill out our online form or call (601) 936-2526.

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"This office has the most professional dentists and dental staff. They treat you like family every time you're there. I've been a patient for over 15 years and I don't plan on leaving anytime soon." Rita O., Current Patient

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