The Link Between Dental Health and Heart Disease

By: Dr. Kristie Engler

Regular dental care is more than just a bright, white smile! Good oral health also plays a big part in your overall health and well-being. There is increasing evidence that a link exists between gum health and heart disease. While some people argue that people with good oral habits may also exercise more frequently and take better overall care of themselves, there are some relationships between the two that cannot be ignored.

Reports published in the American Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Periodontology point out that direct links have been suggested between gum disease and clogged arteries in the legs. Gum disease is also a direct risk factor for heart disease, and the bacteria found in the blood vessels of patients with atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, are the same as those found in gum disease. Furthermore, inflammation is also common to both diseases.

Risk factors for gum disease are the same as those for heart disease. These include tobacco use, poor nutrition and diabetes, the latter which also has shown to be improved in many cases with good oral health. The warning signs of gum disease are as follows:

– Red, swollen, tender gums

– Bleeding gums

– Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth that does not improve

– Shifting or loose teeth

 

blog     For the reasons listed above, it is imperative to emphasize good oral habits for your children from a young age, with regular dental visits beginning with the first tooth eruption at approximately age 6 months, and in some cases earlier, as these positive habits are more likely to follow a person throughout their lives. If you have neglected your dental health, it is not too late to start making positive, life-altering changes!

Unlike some stories from the past, dentistry today is often completely simple and painless. The results for your health, confidence and overall well being is immeasurable. You owe it to yourself and your family to maintain good oral habits and help to reduce your risk of potentially life threatening diseases such as heart disease or progressing diabetes. You are worth it!

If you do not have a dental provider and would like to maintain or start on a path toward better overall health and a great smile, call to make an appointment at AxessPointe today. Our dental and medical providers are here to provide compassionate, understanding, quality care for you and your family. All ages are welcome. We look forward to going through this journey together with you!

Vaccinations Save Lives

Vaccinations save lives. Vaccines are given to infants, toddlers, school age kids, middle school, high school students, and adults. Immunizations or vaccines help us by getting our bodies to create the antibodies or teach our immune system to prevent the diseases that we may be exposed to. Although many of the diseases that people are vaccinated for are almost completely non-existent here in the United States, they are still present around the world. Continuing to vaccinate people of all ages decreases the risk of diseases being spread and complications like blindness, infertility, paralysis, heart failure, liver failure, meningitis, pneumonia, deafness, and even death.

 

Today, the most common vaccines for children include:

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (whooping cough):DTaP and/or TdaP

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis A

Haemophilus influenza type B: Hib

Influenza: Flu

Measles, Mumps, Rubella: MMR

Pneumonia

Polio

Rotavirus

Varicella

For Teen agers, recommended vaccines include TdaP, Meningitis, and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

For Adults, recommended vaccinations include the TdaP, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia, and Shingles

 

Over the years there have been lots of discussions about the safety of vaccines. We know that any treatment or foreign material that we take into our body – no matter if its food, medicine, or even over the counter vitamins can cause some reaction. Sometimes the reaction is what we want and other times it is not. Vaccines have the same risk for possible reaction. The most common reactions are soreness, redness and slight swelling at the site of injection. Sometimes a person can develop a low grade fever or slight rash that usually goes away in a day or two. There are times when a person can have a more serious reaction but those should be discussed on a case by case basis with your health care provider.

If you aren’t sure if you or your child are up to date with vaccines make an appointment today with your health care provider. Make sure to take the vaccination record with you so they can evaluate and recommend any vaccinations. If you don’t have a health care provider, make an appointment at AxessPointe today. We are excepting new patients of all ages at this time.

 

2014 API Clinical Quality

One of the goals of AxessPointe Community Health Centers is to continually work on reports about our clinic’s quality outcomes and improve on the ways we deliver care. We monitor outcomes related to chronic diseases states in our patients such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease.  We also monitor how well we implement screening and prevention for such things as tobacco use related diseases, depression, obesity (in all ages), asthma, and cancer.
In 2014, we reported positive trends in our outcomes in treating diabetes and preventing complications in coronary artery disease by maintaining those patients on evidence-based therapies.  We have also maintained a high percentage of children in our population who are current on recommended immunizations.  We continue to maintain high levels of education to patients related to tobacco cessation and weight control.
In 2015, AxessPointe plans to continue interventions to improve high blood pressure.  This includes appropriate medications and working with patients on weight control and tobacco cessation.  We are also working on improving our screening of cervical and colorectal cancer.  We are working increase our pap smears through our partnership with AxessPointe/Akron General Broadway Women’s Health.  We are also recommending more fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) for all patients over 50, a very easy and inexpensive way to screen the majority of patients for colorectal cancer.
Thanks for your interest in improve the quality of care at AxessPointe.

High Blood Pressure and What You Can Do About It

blood-pressureHigh blood pressure is a medical problem that affects many adults. It can also affect children, especially as more and more children and adults are becoming overweight. A lot of times there are no symptoms with high blood pressure, so it is important to have your blood pressure checked. Your blood pressure may be high without you knowing it. Children should start having their blood pressure checked at age 3. Adults over 18 should also have their blood pressure checked every so often.   Blood pressure is considered high when it is above 140/90.

Sometimes symptoms can include: headache, having to urinate a lot, and blurry vision. Many people have no symptoms. You might be at higher risk for high blood pressure as you get older, if you are overweight or obese, if you are not physically active, if you drink alcohol or smoke, or depending on your ethnicity and family history.

If you have high blood pressure, it is important to see your medical provider regularly for treatment. Treating high blood pressure helps to prevent heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and eye problems. It is important to treat high blood pressure to prevent these long term problems even if you do not have symptoms right now. Treatment for high blood pressure can include diet (reducing your salt intake), exercise, and medications.

 

Heather Williams, FNP-C