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You are here:Home > Health Topics > *Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

There is growing concern over the connection of gum disease and heart disease. Unfortunately, most people think teeth have no connection to the rest of the body. There are many connections, including the fact that every tooth and its supporting structures contain arteries that travel to the heart.

It's very important to keep the gum tissue healthy. Studies have confirmed gum disease has a connection with increased risk of:

  • Heart disease

  • Stroke

  • Respiratory Disorders

  • Problem Pregnancies

  • The Heart, Mouth Connection
    With bleeding gums, the bacteria in gum infection can travel to the body through the bloodstream. The same bacteria found in gum disease is also found in hardened arteries. As oral bacteria from bleeding gums enter the blood stream, they attach to fatty plaques in the heart blood vessels and cause clot formation.

    The blood clots obstruct normal blood flow, which of course minimizes the amount of nutrients and oxygen reaching the heart for normal function. Heart attack is the result if the heart cannot function properly.

    According to the American Dental Association, gum disease (periodontal disease) afflicts more than 70 million of the American population. It's known as the silent disease, because you may have no pain or other major symptoms. However, bad breath, some bleeding when brushing or flossing may be some of the signs to look out for.

    Cause of Gum Disease
    The most common cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene and not visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check up. Other causes include:

  • Tobacco products for smoking or chewing

  • Drinking excessive alcohol

  • Recreational drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine

  • Diabetes

  • Mouth breathing - dries the tissues and can lead to dry mouth and gum disease

  • Poor nutrition

  • Proper Oral Hygiene Makes a Big Difference
    At the beginning stages of gum disease, brushing your teeth and flossing them, can totally reverse gum disease. As it advances and you lose bone and teeth become loose, it is more difficult to reverse the disease.

    Tips on Preventing Gum Disease
  • Practice good home oral hygiene

  • See your dentist regularly

  • Stop bad habits like tobacco products

  • Eat healthy snacks

  • Related Oral Health Articles by Dr. Flora Stay
    Causes of Bad Breath
    Oral Health is Gateway to Health
    Toothpaste Ingredients to Avoid
    Toothpaste Brands Review
    Dry Mouth Relief

    Stop Sugar Cravings with Healthy Snacks
    Canker Sore Relief
    How to Brush Your Teeth Properly

    Tooth Decay
    TMJ (TMD)

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