The Connection Between Gum Disease And Heart Disease

Taking care of your teeth and gums is extremely important. Gum disease and tooth decay can be both costly and uncomfortable problems to deal with. But recent studies have shown that taking care of your teeth and gums may be even more important than once thought. According to studies, people who suffer from periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. Information like this highlights the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Next time you are brushing or flossing, remember that you might also be helping to lower your risk for heart disease.

Understanding Where The Link Comes From

The link between periodontal and cardiovascular disease most likely comes from the buildup of plaque. In fact, the very same plaque that builds up on your teeth and gums can enter your bloodstream and create blockages of your arteries. These blockages obstruct the flow of blood and nutrients to your heart. In serious cases, this can lead to a heart attack.

Although most people understand that gum disease and tooth decay can be very serious problems, most do not see them as life threatening or on the same level as other more serious health problems. However, with the realization that oral health can have a direct affect on the health of your heart, it is time to start paying closer attention to keeping up with your oral health if you are not already.

Coronary Artery Disease

The leading cause of death in the United States is coronary artery disease. When plaque begins to build up in your arteries, it hardens and creates a blockage of the flow of blood to your heart. A number of significant problems can result from this. Chest pain, heart arrhythmias or heart attacks can all result from the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Because of this fact, it is very important to do anything you can to lessen your risk for heart disease. This consists of exercise, proper diet, quitting smoking and taking care of your oral health to lower your potential risk for cardiovascular disease.

To maintain healthy teeth and gums, it is very important for you to brush at least twice per day, generally after meals. It is also essential to floss between your teeth every day to reach areas that your toothbrush cannot. You also need to make frequent visits to your Midlothian dentist for cleanings and checkups. He or she will be able to clean your teeth using tools and techniques that you are not able to perform and can examine your teeth and gums to catch any potential problems early on.

To learn more about the connection between gum disease and heart disease or to schedule an appointment, contact your dentist in Midlothian, VA today.

Prevent Heart Disease With Delphinidin

Delphinidin is a powerful anthocyanin and phytonutrient (a group of plant based nutrients that are not essential in humans but offer numerous health benefits). It has been provisionally linked with preventing heart disease and various other health disorders. In this article I will be discussing delphinidin in greater detail, outlining the main health benefits and focussing on the richest food sources.

1) DISCOVERY:

Delphinidin was discovered in 1938 by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi along with the other flavonoids (a group of phytonutrients which include anthocyanins). Upon discovering the flavonoids, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi believed they were vitamins and named them vitamin P. However, it was later discovered that flavonoids were not essential in humans and not technically vitamins.

2) MAIN FUNCTIONS:

Research has shown that delphinidin is a powerful antioxidant and can protect the body’s cells from damaging free radicals (harmful by-products that are released during oxygen related reactions and can contribute to the development of cancer, contribute to the development of diabetes and damage the body’s cells).

Early studies also suggest delphinidin may act as an anti-inflammatory (a substance that reduces inflammation in the body), prevent atherosclerosis (a condition where hard plaques form in the artery walls and restrict the flow of blood), prevent cancer (a disease which causes cells to grow in a rapid, uncontrollable way) and heart disease.

3) FOOD SOURCES:

Berries are 1 of the best sources of delphinidin around with bilberries containing 161.93 milligrams (mg) per 100 grams (g), blueberries containing 47.4mg per 100g and cranberries containing 7.66mg per 100g. Other fruits and vegetables such as black beans (11.98mg per 100g), cowpeas (94.6mg per 100g) and eggplant (13.76mg per 100g) are also a very good source of this anthocyanin.

4) DELPHINIDIN SUMMARY:

Although the majority of research available on delphinidin is still only provisional, the early signs are very promising. So start taking advantage of this powerful anthocyanin today and eat more berries. Not only will this give you all the benefits discussed in this article but it will also supply you with a healthy dose of other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Berries are a very versatile fruit so even if you are not currently eating them they can be easily incorporated into your diet. They can be mixed with yogurt to create a healthy breakfast or snack, placed in a bowl with fruit juice to create a berry based fruit salad or eaten on their own between meals.

Rheumatic Heart Disease What It Is And How It Can Be Prevented

Rheumatic heart disease is a specific cardiac condition that is caused when bacterial infections damage the heart valves. Genus Streptococcus is the bacterium responsible for such infections. It is the same bacterium that causes tonsillitis (commonly known as strep throat). When the condition of tonsillitis is left untreated, it may result in bacterial spread, which may have very serious consequences. The bacteria may travel to the heart and cause inflammation, eventually damaging the tissues in heart valves.

Signs And Symptoms
As it is quite clear now, strep throat can be a big alert sign, especially if you are experiencing it for over a couple of weeks. However, in some cases, it appears that strep throat has been thoroughly treated, but in fact, the infection still remains there and it keeps on spreading in different parts of your body. It is very much likely that such bacterial infection will silently reach your heart and cause rheumatic heart disease. Therefore, strep throat infections must be taken very seriously. Even if your throat seems to be working fine, you should keep taking the medicine to completely remove the infection. Some common symptoms that you may experience when you have such heart infections include jerky movements in the muscles, extreme fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, and rash with rheumatic fever.

Risk Factors
There are several risk factors that may be responsible for increasing the speed of bacterial infection. For example, those with prosthetic valves are highly susceptible to have such problems. Likewise, bacterial infection is more likely to cause heart valve complications in those who are already suffering from congenital heart problems. What is more, there are many underdeveloped countries where no proper treatment is available for strep throat. Therefore, the condition of not treating throat infection is also a major risk factor for rheumatic heart disease in various parts of the world.

Can It Be Prevented?
There is no guaranteed way to prevent such problems, but still, you can do plenty of things to substantially reduce the chance of such bacterial infection and the subsequent rheumatic complications. For example, Personal hygiene can play a very important role in this regard. The basic idea is to eliminate the chance of getting affected with a strep throat. Besides that, if strep throat still occurs, you must seek immediate medical help from experts. Any delay in treatment can be very dangerous for your heart health.

There are several antibiotics that can be used to treat rheumatic heart disease. You may have to take these antibiotics for up to six weeks. However, in case of severe reactions and damage, the doctor may suggest you to go for surgical treatment. But such severe conditions occur only after several years of deterioration of the heart valves. If you take proper care regularly, the condition may not reach that severity level.

Steps To Prevent Heart Disease

Heart diseases are rampant in US and other western countries. Developing economies, such as India, are also not far behind. And therefore this is the high time we should start learning more about our hearts and what can be done to prevent heart diseases. Here are 5 steps that a heart specialist in India shared with me:

1. Know which foods to eat more of, and which ones to limit

You might know that certain foods increase your risk for a heart disease while others help you keep your heart healthy. In general, you should have more of vegetables and fruits as they are rich in vitamins and minerals. Refined, processed or fast foods, on the other hand, should be limited.

2. Take a look at your portion size

There are people who keep on eating until they feel stuffed. Overeating leads to eating more calorie, fat and cholesterol. And this is certainly not good for your heart. Remember, how much you eat is as important as what you eat. Control your portion size and bring down your chances of developing a heart disease.

3. Whole grains do wonders to your heart

Whole grains, like barley, contain fibre and many other nutrients, which can help regulate blood pressure and heart health. Substitute the refined products with the whole grains. Ground flaxseed is a great addition to a heart healthy diet. It is full of fiber and nutrients. Try it.

4. Reduce your intake of sodium

Excessive sodium can lead to high blood pressure and poor heart health. Therefore reduce it. Reducing the amount of salt from the food that you prepare at home is the first thing you should do. However, you should be more careful about the salt that comes from the consumption of canned and processed foods, such as soups and frozen dinners.

5. Heart healthy exercise

Make exercise a part of your daily life. Yoga, aerobics, Ti-chi, whatever fascinates you, start it and save your heart.

6. When you are diagnosed with a heart disease

There is no need to lose heart. There are treatments available for almost all heart diseases. If its costly in your country, you can get the treatment in some other countries, which offer affordable treatments. Cardiology treatment in India, for example, would cost you a fraction of what you would spend in a hospital in US or UK.

The best thing is cardiology treatment in India is performed with the same precision and care that you would receive at a hospital in US or UK.

The Low-down On The Diagnosis And Therapy Of Coronary Heart Disease In Women

It is not easy to diagnose CHD in women who develop chest pain more often than men. The chances for these chest pains to progress to heart attack are rare. In one study, half of the women undergoing coronary angiography did not have significant heart artery blockage. But, women with classical angina symptoms had a 71 percent probability of having diseased coronary arteries. Nearly 90 percent of women suffering from heart attack had chest pains as the initial clinical presentation. This is similar to what men have experienced. Nevertheless, females are more likely to exhibit symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue, nausea, or upper abdominal pain.

Diagnosis of CHD among women has often been a challenging task for doctors. Resting electrocardiogram (ECG) frequently shows non-specific abnormalities in women, regardless of whether there is underlying CHD. The conventional treadmill stress test also does not help much as a diagnosing tool for women. Non-invasive tests such as myocardial perfusion stress imaging and stress echocardiography may improve the sensitivity and specificity over the treadmill stress tests in the female population.

Several reports have documented that women with CHD have a worse outcome than their male counterparts. Compared to males, females have higher chance of complications after heart attack. This could be explained by:

– Older age of female CHD patients, usually 10 years older than male CHD patients.

– Increased likelihood of co-morbid conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart failure.

– Differences in the size of the coronary arteries between men and women.

– A greater likelihood of urgent surgical or interventional procedures in women.

– Less aggressive approach generally adopted by doctors.

– Lower likelihood of referral for cardiac rehabilitation after a cardiac event

Pharmacological therapy using ACE inhibitors, aspirin, beta-blockers, nitrates and cholesterol-lowering drugs has been effective in both men and women.

A 1987 study showed that men were 6.3 times more likely than women to be referred to coronary angiography when their non-invasive tests were abnormal. Heart procedures such as PTCA (Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angiography) and bypass surgery were 15 to 27 percent more commonly carried out in men than in women with the diagnosis of CHD.

Complications during PTCA were higher for female patients. A slightly worse operative mortality was also associated with surgical treatment for women. After the heart bypass surgery, women have a lower likelihood of being free of angina than men do. Female CHD patients also experience greater disability and less return to work than the male patients. The rate of long-term survival and re-operation, however, are similar.

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