August 10, 2017
Alton Thomas, D.M.D., a graduate of the College of Dental Medicine’s inaugural class, was interviewed by WMBF News, an NBC affiliate based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Thomas spoke with the station about the link between periodontitis and heart disease as well as ways to stay healthy.
“Those with periodontal disease have a 25 percent greater chance of having some sort of cardiovascular episode, whether it be a stroke or heart attack,” Thomas said.
Thomas discussed the inflammatory reaction created by bacteria in the mouth, and how this can impact the heart and circulatory system.
“Studies have shown that [there are] oral bacteria in plaque formations in the body," Thomas said. This oral bacteria even appears in the tissue walls of arteries and veins.
Once in the blood, the oral bacteria triggers an inflammatory response, causing blood vessels to swell and reduce blood flow. That can increase risk for clots.
Thomas said that to prevent disease, “Flossing is really important in keeping that gingival pocket in between the teeth where you can't brush clean.”
To learn more about the College of Dental Medicine, visit www.une.edu/dentalmedicine
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions