Can Bad Oral Health Affect Your Heart?

There have been many studies trying to find the link between gum disease (periodontal disease) and heart disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no immediate connection, but there are factors that could increase the likeliness of this connection.

Delta Dental explains that there are 2 important links to making this connection. First, someone with moderate or advanced gum disease is more likely to have heart disease than someone with a healthy mouth. Also, there are many factors in your overall health including those of the heart that your oral health may provide warning signs for.

The Oral/Systemic Connection

Think about the correlation between your mouth and your heart. Your heart pumps blood throughout your body, but did you know that your teeth are a direct source to your blood? Hence why we bleed when we lose teeth. When bacteria from gum disease enters your blood stream, it can flow to your heart and attach itself to any damaged part of your heart.

Here, it will cause inflammation which in turn can cause a number of heart problems, such as an infection of the inner lining of the heart, clogged arteries, stroke, and in severe cases even death. They can also attach to blood vessels throughout your body which causes cardiovascular problems and can also result in stroke or heart attack.

The best way to know that your gum disease will not lead to heart disease is to make sure you have a good oral health routine. Make sure you are brushing and flossing 2 times a day for at least 2 minutes, avoid high sugar food and drink intake and visit your dentist every 6 months.

Signs and Symptoms

Here are a couple things to look for that may be signs of gum disease.

  • Gum are detaching from your teeth
  • Adult teeth feel loose
  • You often have a bad taste in your mouth
  • You often have bad breath
  • Pus – this means infection
  • Gums bleed often while brushing, flossing or even eating
  • Gums are sore to the touch and/or red and swollen

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call us to schedule an appointment immediately.