More and more research is supporting the claim that heart disease and gum disease are related. Experts believe that inflammation is a component that strongly contributes to both conditions, and studies have shown a direct link between clogged arteries and gum disease.
Several published articles find that gum disease itself is a risk factor for coronary artery disease. Research suggests that the more bacteria you have from gum disease, the thicker your carotid arteries may be. This can make it hard for blood to flow to the heart and puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke.
Gums are full of blood vessels, and your mouth houses bacteria. If you disrupt and expose the gums, that bacteria could potentially enter your bloodstream and go anywhere throughout the body and trigger inflammation. Inflammation is one of the main things that can cause damage to blood vessels, including those of the heart.
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bones that support the teeth. There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis, which affects only the gums and soft tissue that surround the teeth, and periodontitis, which is more severe and spreads below the gums, damaging the tissue and bone. Periodontal disease can exacerbate existing heart conditions.
Gum disease is caused by the growth of germs and bacteria on the teeth and gums. The toxins irritate your gums and cause swelling and bleeding when the gums are brushed. Over time, this may cause gums to pull away from the teeth. Other symptoms include bad breath or mouth pain. Healthy gums are pink and firm and fit snugly around the teeth.
You might be at higher risk for periodontal disease if gum disease runs in your family, you have high stress levels, or you have an illness that affects your immune system such as aids, diabetes, or leukemia.
It’s a proven fact that your lifestyle choices are contributing factors to your dental and heart health. We suggest practicing good oral hygiene habits, avoiding smoking and using tobacco, and following a healthy diet and lifestyle.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, pain, and irritation or your gums are bleeding when you brush and floss, you should visit your Everett dentist right away for gum disease evaluation and treatment. Gingivitis, when caught in its early stages, can be treated and reversed.
To read more about the relationship between gum disease and heart disease, explore the articles below:
- Health.Harvard.edu Treating gum disease may lessen the burden of heart disease, diabetes, other conditions
- Colgate.com Heart Disease And Gum Disease
- WebMD Periodontal Disease and Heart Health
- WebMD Healthy Teeth, Healthy Heart?