Heart Health and The Dental Connection

Heart Health and The Dental Connection

Posted by Covington Dentistry on Jun 3 2019, 08:13 AM

As per various researches, it was found that there exist two specific connections between an individual's oral health and heart health. To begin with, if you suffer from moderate or advanced stages of gum disease, you are at an increased risk of heart problems. And second, an experienced dentist can identify warning signs of heart disease from a person's gum tissue.

In this blog, let's look at the connection between gum and heart health. 

Can Bad Teeth Cause Heart Problems?

The bacteria and other germs that infect the gums and cause gingivitis and periodontitis can travel from the mouth to other body parts through our bloodstream. When they reach our heart, there is a chance that they get attached to any damaged area, leading to inflammation. This can cause endocarditis, an infection of the heart's inner lining. The American Heart Association says that other cardiovascular illnesses like atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and stroke have also been connected to the inflammation by oral bacteria.

Another study says that rather than the oral bacteria causing heart disease, it's our body's immune response in the form of inflammation that causes vascular damage in the heart and brain.

Who Is at Increased Risk?

If not diagnosed and treated on time, patients with advanced stages of gingivitis or periodontal disease are at an increased risk for heart ailments caused by poor dental health. Even if a patient does not have visible gum inflammation, poor oral hygiene and accumulated plaque can also put them at risk for gum disease and increase the chances of heart disease and stroke.

Symptoms and Warning Signs

American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) says the warning signs of periodontal disease are as follows: 

  • Red, swollen, and sore gums
  • Gums that bleed while eating, brushing, or flossing.
  • Pus around the gums. 
  • Receding gums
  • Severe bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth.
  • Loose teeth

Prevention Measures

Even though you can't prevent all heart diseases by maintaining good oral health, it's essential to take care of your teeth and gums:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Use an ADA-accepted toothpaste good for gum health
  • Floss daily.
  • Visit your dental hygienist for regular dental checkups and cleanings.

Taking good care of your teeth and gums makes it possible to save yourself from developing a link between oral health and heart disease.

If you're concerned about heart disease prevention, visit our dentist, and we will help you with tips to maintain good oral health. 

For more dental care tips, schedule an appointment with Dr. Peter Yeh, DDS at Covington Signature Dentistry. Call our dental office at (253) 638-9955.

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