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Watch Your Mouth: Michigan Association of Endodontists Offers Four Part Series on Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
Date:3/24/2008

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- During National Root Canal Awareness Week (March 30 to April 5), a four part series of articles is available for publication courtesy of The Michigan Association of Endodontists. Topics include healthy dental tips for aging, facts about root canals and new technology that can make the procedure virtually painless.

Healthy smile? Healthy heart?

Dental health can affect your overall health

Oral health is not only important to your appearance and sense of well- being. It's also important to your overall health.

According to experts at the Michigan Association of Endodontists (MAE), cavities and gum disease may contribute to many serious conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases and pre-mature and low weight babies.

"Inflammation, bacteria and their byproducts in the mouth may cause these diseases to worsen, which can, in turn, cause the oral condition to deteriorate," explains Dr. Michael Lindemann, an endodontist and member of the MAE. "The oral conditions can and should be treated to reduce the risks of systemic diseases.

"Several studies link chronic inflammation from gum disease with the development of cardiovascular disease," he said.

Researchers believe that this is due to oral bacteria present in gum disease that can affect the heart if the bacteria enter the bloodstream. These bacteria can attach to fatty deposits in the coronary arteries and contribute to arterial clot formation - clots that can dislodge and cause heart attacks and stroke.

In addition, people with diabetes often have periodontal disease, often more severe than individuals without diabetes. Some studies indicate that periodontitis, in turn, can make it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar.

"The key issue is maintaining good dental health throughout your life. That means avoiding actions that can lead to inflammation and
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SOURCE Michigan Association of Endodontists
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