Is Heart Disease Really Connected to the Health of Your Mouth?
Posted on 1/25/2019 by Matt Aldridge DDS
Many of us don't realize the risks of unchecked gum disease. All too often, this illness is regarded as a minor inconvenience or a cosmetic problem, but the reality is that it could cause much greater issues.
While gum disease is often associated with unsightly tooth loss, it can also lead to a much bigger complication: heart disease. If left untreated, gum disease can quickly spread to your heart, causing a heart attack and even death.
Protecting Your Heart By Taking Care of Your Teeth
Recent research has revealed the link between periodontal disease and heart attack and stroke. While you may not realize that they're actually highly correlated, the fact remains that there are several factors that come into play that can cause this deadly problem.
Why, however, does gum disease cause heart problems? The answers may surprise you. Inflammation. Gum disease can cause not only inflammation in your mouth, but also inflammation in your entire body. The bacteria found in plaque can lead to systemic inflammation, causing your arteries to harden and heart disease to form.
Blood Vessels. The blood vessels in your mouth have a direct line to your heart. If you have elevated bacteria levels in your mouth, it's not a difficult journey at all for them. They can easily be transported to your heart, causing infection and damage.
If caught early, gingivitis is entirely reversible. Signs of this disease include:
Swollen, red, and painful gums
Blood when you brush and floss your teeth
Sour taste in your mouth
Stopping early-stage gum disease is as simple as adopting a good oral hygiene regimen. Take time to brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes per session, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Follow up with flossing, taking care to get up underneath the gumline with a fresh section of floss per tooth.
Regular dental appointments with cleanings can also help prevent gum disease. If it's been longer than six months since your last checkup, please give our professional and skilled office a call today to schedule your appointment to help take care of not only your teeth, but also your heart.
A better kind of dental practice for your entire family.