Oral Health and How It Relates to Heart Disease

Oral health & gum disease in san diegoYour next trip to the dentist not only leaves your teeth looking clean and white, but it may also lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Understanding the connection between oral health and heart health can help you take action against chronic disease.

Good Oral Health Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease

Although cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, approximately half of the people who have a heart attack or stroke appear to be otherwise healthy. This led scientists to dig deeper to find additional risk factors that might be used to predict who is at higher risk for a cardiovascular event.

The results of several large-scale scientific studies revealed a surprising link between dental health and cardiovascular risk factors. These studies showed that people with gum disease were significantly more likely to have atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries) and cardiovascular disease.

What is the Connection Between Your Oral Hygiene and Your Heart?

More research needs to be performed to identify the exact links between oral hygiene and cardiovascular health, but scientists have speculated about potential mechanisms underlying this effect. Researchers believe that the connection is related to inflammatory processes. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that lead to inflammatory damage of gum tissue. When the gums bleed, bacteria enter the bloodstream and move throughout your circulatory system. Chronic inflammation may cause your arteries to constrict, reducing blood flow and increasing cardiovascular risk.

Recognizing the Signs of Gum Disease

Frequent trips to the dentist can actually keep your heart healthy, too! Your dentist will check for gum disease warning signs, such as bad breath, receding gums, or tender and swollen gum tissue. You can do your part by maintaining good oral hygiene between visits.

If you are showing any of the above signs of gum disease it is probably time to schedule your gum disease treatment with us. Call the office of the expert San Diego dentist Dr. Feinberg today at 619-567-4551.