At first glance, it may seem quite improbable for a correlation between gum disease and heart disease to exist, but the staff at Gateway Dental Care in Pleasanton, CA knows otherwise. We regularly communicate to our patients the compounding effects that periodontal disease can have on heart disease and its relationship to stroke.
The Link Between Gingivitis And Heart Disease
Gingivitis is the term given to periodontal or gum disease in its early stages. Gingivitis is the product of plaque buildup at and below the gum line. Scientists theorize that the bacteria produced from gingivitis makes its way into your bloodstream and causes inflammation, which has been linked to the formation of blood clots and the thickening of arteries. This combination can lead to both heart attacks and stroke. Daily brushing and flossing can prevent an even reverse gingivitis. You can do your part to maintain optimum oral and overall health by adhering to a proper brushing and flossing regimen and scheduling regular dental visits.
Gum Disease And Heart Disease
There are two widely excepted associations between heart disease and oral health. Studies have shown that people with mild or severe gum disease have a greater likelihood of having heart disease than those with healthy gums. Oral health can be an accurate predictor of overall health, and studies point to the fact that oral health offers warning signs for more serious conditions and diseases such as heart disease. The Academy of General Dentistry highlights the reality that, as a rule, those with chronic gum disease possess a higher risk of heart attack. Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red Tender or Swollen Gums
- Bleeding During or After Flossing and Brushing
- Receding Gums
- Painful Biting or Chewing
- Loose Teeth
- Chronic Bad Breath
Risk Factors For Heart Disease
There are many ways to predict the likelihood of heart disease. Several of the risk factors for gum disease are identical to those for heart disease including such things as:
- Poor Nutrition
- High Blood Pressure
- High Blood Cholesterol
- Diabetes and Prediabetes
- Being Overweight or Obese
- Being Physically Inactive
Although it often goes undiagnosed, gum disease affects nearly 80% of US adults.
Preventing Heart Disease
Proper oral hygiene is key to preventing heart disease. In addition to regular dental exams and cleanings to have plaque and tartar removed from your teeth and gums, your everyday dental hygiene is a major contributor to the prevention of gum disease. The value of regular brushing and flossing is widely unappreciated. To find out more information about the link between gum disease and heart disease call or make an appointment with Gateway Dental Care today.