While most people agree that maintaining good oral health is important, many fail to realize the full extent of oral health on the rest of the body. Research has found a link between poor oral health and various adverse health outcomes, particularly cardiovascular incidents like heart attacks.
Explore the relationship between oral and cardiovascular health to learn what your teeth say about your heart health and why it’s essential to schedule regular checkups with your dentist to enhance your well-being.
Gingivitis and Heart Disease
Gingivitis is a gum disease characterized by inflammation of the gums. Localized inflammation can spread as the disease progresses, putting your cardiovascular system at risk. Inflammation can cause plaque in your heart’s arteries to rupture, creating blockages that increase your chance of heart attacks.
Additionally, gingivitis increases your likelihood of a heart attack by creating an oral environment that encourages the proliferation of bacteria. If you have gum disease, your mouth may harbor a high number of harmful bacteria that can adversely affect your heart.
Studies show that the same bacteria appear in oral plaque and the plaque involved in coronary blockages, implying oral plaque plays a direct role in some heart attacks. Patients with gingivitis are nearly twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack than patients without gingivitis.
Heart Health and Periodontitis
Periodontitis is a gum infection that increases the likelihood of a cardiovascular incident. With periodontitis, the gums become severely inflamed and separate from the tooth’s root, forming a pocket.
A 2020 consensus report found that periodontitis affects 11.2% of the world’s population and increases the chances of developing non-communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease. Common adverse conditions connected to severe periodontitis include stroke, heart disease, and hypertension.
The connection between periodontitis and heart issues may result from the systemic inflammation accompanying infections. The infection in your gums can spread to the bloodstream, elevating C-reactive protein levels, which indicates blood vessel inflammation.
Studies have consistently linked poor oral health to cardiovascular issues. This connection means it is vital to understand and identify the warning signs of deteriorating oral health. If you notice any signs of developing gum disease, schedule a visit with your dentist.
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Noticeably loose or shifting teeth
- Bleeding after brushing or flossing
- Widening space between your gums and teeth
- Consistent bad breath or a foul taste
- Your teeth look longer than they did in the past due to a receding gum line
- Pus between your teeth and gums
Save Your Heart By Improving Your Oral Health with Smile On Chicago
Fortunately, with proper dental hygiene and treatment, gum disease is reversible in its early stages. If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, schedule a visit to the Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center in Lakeview or Deerfield. Our dentists can perform an oral exam to determine the extent of your condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan.