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What is the Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Mason & North Cincinnati, OH

Posted on 6/19/2023 by Martin Periodontics
Image of a person's lower teeth and gum tissue, at Martin Periodontics in Mason, OH. Many people may not think that the mouth and heart have much in common. Increasing evidence suggests that these organs may be closely linked. Research professionals suspect that bacteria contributing to gum disease can move to other parts of the body causing a trigger of inflammation within the vessels of the heart and infection of the heart valves. If you have heart disease, you should tell our prosthodontist when seeking treatment for gum disease or other dental problems.

Inflammation of the Blood Vessels of the Heart

There is a connection between gum disease or periodontitis and inflammation that comes before heart attacks and strokes. However, it is not clear about the cause-and-effect relationship of this situation. Inflammation can occur due to many reasons, so it is difficult to definitively say that bacteria causing gum disease is the only thing that can cause inflammation of the blood vessels. That being said, it is important to point out that individuals with heart disease affecting the blood vessels could have that being linked to inflammation arising from gum disease.

Additionally, people with high cholesterol have a higher risk of having heart disease. Researchers have identified oral bacteria within the fatty deposits of individuals with atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque accumulates in the arteries. Therefore, if the disease is not treated, those deposits may narrow arteries or even break loose and block them, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Infection in Valves of the Heart

When you have gum disease, you may be at risk of having heart valve disease. The bacteria living in the mouth when suffering from gum disease are able to cross into the bloodstream and enter the heart. This way, they may directly affect the heart valves.

It is important you prevent and treat gum disease, even when it is in its mild form. Regular dental cleanings provide long-term preventive care. Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing as our dental team advises. To find out how poor oral hygiene can affect your overall health including heart disease, visit us at our dental office.
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