It is often said poor oral hygiene can cause oral health issues that lead to other health problems at various body sites. Gum disease is especially problematic for human health. It is quite concerning to learn poor oral hygiene has the potential to increase the chances of heart disease.
The Relationship Between Oral Health and Heart Disease
Recent studies indicate those who have gum disease in an advanced or moderate stage are at a much higher risk for heart disease compared to those who have healthy gums. Oral health often provides medical professionals with warning signs for myriad conditions and diseases, especially those relating to the heart.
Why Oral Health is Related to Heart Disease
Heart disease and oral health are linked by the movement of bacteria as well as other germs from the mouth to additional body sites. The blood stream’s natural movement moves this bacteria through the body. As this bacteria reaches the heart, it has the potential to attach to damaged portions and result in significant inflammation. This can also cause an infection of the heart’s inner lining known as endocarditis. Furthermore, additional conditions like clogged arteries and stroke have also been tied to inflammation created by oral bacteria.
Which Patients Face a Heightened Risk?
Those who are afflicted with chronic gum conditions like advanced periodontal disease are especially prone to heart disease resulting from poor oral health. This risk grows even more if the gum disease or gingivitis is not properly diagnosed and subsequently managed in a careful manner. The bacteria associated with the infection of the gums are positioned within the mouth yet the can easily enter the bloodstream and link up with blood vessels, raising the risk of heart disease.
Those who do not have clear gum inflammation are still at risk for gum disease if their oral hygiene is inadequate and plaque has accumulated. It is even possible for bacteria to reach the bloodstream, spurring a high level of C-reactive protein, a common marker for blood vessel inflammation. This bumps up the risk of stroke as well as heart disease.
Studies show periodontitis is linked to a high risk for the development of heart disease. It also shows those who have chronic gum disease have thicker blood vessels in the neck. There is even a legitimate correlation between cardiovascular disease and diabetes. If you are a diabetic, it is imperative you have your teeth deep-cleaned at the dentist’s office at least once every six months.
Keep Your Teeth Clean to Protect Your Heart
Though the connection between heart disease and poor oral health is not fully proven at this point in time, it appears as though the link between the two is quite strong. You can do your part to prevent the onset of heart disease by keeping your mouth in tip-top shape. Floss every single day. Brush your teeth two times per day at a bare minimum. Replace your toothbrush every couple months or even earlier if the bristles wear out. Follow this advice, visit the dentist every six months and you will dramatically reduce the chances of heart disease caused by poor oral health.
For more information call Contemporary Dentistry PC at (313) 251-1355.
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