Tooth inflammations Dangerous to the heart
Periodontitis can be dangerous for the heart
Around twelve million people in Germany are struggling with periodontitis. The result of this inflammation can not only be the loss of teeth, but pose a risk to the whole body. Studies show that untreated periodontal disease can be dangerous for the heart, among other things. Experts advise on thorough dental hygiene.
Twelve million affected in Germany
In Germany, about twelve million people are plagued with periodontal disease. This chronic inflammation of the periodontium is, according to experts, even more common than the more common caries. Typical symptoms that can occur with the disease are bleeding gums, sensitive tooth necks, toothache, gum recession, bad breath or loose teeth. Periodontitis is often equated with periodontal disease, but the latter is a degenerative, inflammation-free decline of the dental bed, while periodontitis is a bacterial inflammation of the periodontium.
Sometimes too many bacteria accumulate
In a recent column of „world“ the author discusses a project of researchers that she is currently informed about. A tooth is connected to the jaw via the gums, a bone wall, root and periodontal tissue. As long as one regularly reduces the bacteria that constantly accumulate in the mouth by brushing and the immune system is strong enough, usually no problems arise. But sometimes too many bacteria accumulate and, as a result, plaque builds up and the gums become inflamed. If you bite into an apple then it can bleed. But the inflammation can also have other health consequences, such as by spreading to the bones or other parts of the body.
Pathogens can get into the bloodstream
In addition, the pathogens can enter the bloodstream from the mouth. As the column says, studies have shown that this can narrow the coronary arteries and increase the risk of developing COPD, or smoker's disease, or rheumatism and arthritis. In addition, older studies have established a connection between periodontal diseases, such as periodontitis and vascular diseases, such as arteriosclerosis (arteriosclerosis).
„Common disease periodontitis“ fight
The „world“-According to the column, researchers from nine European countries are now to publish the „Common disease periodontitis“ fight together. Among them is a group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology in Halle. The bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis they identified as the main enemy. As the head of the Hallenser group said, it was „highly toxic“ and very aggressive. The scientists have discovered that this bacterium activates an enzyme that breaks down protein and also occurs in chronic inflammation in the body.
Thorough oral hygiene and regular checks
The researchers are now looking for a means that could stop this enzyme and hinder the growth of bacteria. The aim is a new antibiotic, which acts purposefully and leaves the rest of the oral flora halfway intact. As long as there is no such remedy, advises the German Society of Periodontics for really careful brushing your teeth. And of course to regular checks at the dentist. In acute inflammation experts are also advised to use a mouthwash to kill the bacteria in the mouth. (Ad)
Image: Jerzy Sawluk