Business — April 5, 2024 at 6:42 am

The Connection Between Oral Health and Heart Disease


There is a connection between oral health and heart disease which is something that was considered distinct areas of health in the past. The inflammation and bacteria in your mouth can enter the bloodstream and this can lead to systemic inflammation and disease in other areas of your body.

Periodontal disease or gum disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the gums.

It can also affect the supporting structures of the teeth in severe stages. This is a result of bacterial plaque build-up along your gumline. This build-up leads to an inflammatory response in the gums. If this is not treated, this can cause many complications such as tooth loss, gum recession and damage to connective tissues and bone. If you notice that your gums are bleeding when you floss or brush or if they happen to be red and swollen, it is best to make an appointment at your local dental clinic so that they can diagnose the condition and come up with a treatment plan. Studies have shown a connection between periodontal disease and heart disease. Individuals that have periodontal disease have an increased risk of developing heart disease along with conditions such as heart attacks, stroke and coronary heart disease.

The exact connection is yet to be explored but there are several theories why this may occur.

As periodontal disease is the chronic inflammation of gums, inflammation is also a primary factor in the development of atherosclerosis. This is a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries restricting the blood flow and increasing the risk of heart disease. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can spread from the mouth and enter the bloodstream through the gums. The bacteria can travel to other areas of the body and this can include the heart. Once the bacteria is in the bloodstream, it can lead to the development of arterial plaque and trigger inflammatory responses that lead to damage of blood vessels. There are common risk factors for periodontal disease and heart disease. These are poor diet, obesity, diabetes and smoking. If you have these risk factors, it will predispose you to both these conditions. Therefore, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits so that it benefits your heart health as well.

You can reduce your risk of heart disease when you act to prevent and manage periodontal disease.

This can improve overall cardiovascular health. Some of the primary oral hygiene practices you can stick to are brushing and flossing. You can use a fluoride toothpaste and brush twice a day. Flossing can be done once a day. This practice will remove bacteria and plaque from your mouth, reducing the risk of gum disease. You also need to schedule regular dental check-ups so that your oral health can be monitored. Signs of gum disease will then be detected early on and its progression can be halted with prompt treatment. Professional cleanings can also remove the build-up of plaque and tartar from the mouth.


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