Gum disease, in its mild or advanced form, is a condition plaguing many people in America. Though a direct link has not been found yet, dentists and cardiologists believe there is a connection between gum disease and heart disease. In addition to possibly unhealthy habits, patients with gum disease near Kendall may increase their risk of heart disease through the spreading of periodontal bacteria and inflammation.
Inflammation Leads to Hardened Arteries
Inflammation has been linked to the hardening of arteries, known as atherosclerosis. As arteries harden, blood cannot flow as easily to reach the heart. As the heart does not receive a regular and strong flow of blood, the risk of heart disease increases. One of the first symptoms of mild gum disease, or gingivitis, is inflammation and swelling of the gums. As gum disease progresses and the gums become more inflamed, they are also filing up with bacteria and infection. Both the potentially hardened arteries and bacteria can lead to heart disease.
Periodontal Bacteria Spreads
The bacteria found in gums with periodontitis has been found to spread to the heart. These damaging bacteria and toxins can travel to the heart, but they can also damage the arteries. In addition to the inflammation, damaged arteries cannot allow the proper flow of blood to the heart or brain. This may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke in patients with gum disease. With proper dental cleanings and daily oral care, the bacteria can be eradicated and lower the risk of heart disease.
Gum Disease Indicates Bad Health Habits
Another possible link to heart disease may revolve around a patient’s daily lifestyle. Many patients with advanced gum disease may not take care of their overall health, as indicated by their lack of oral healthcare. They may be smokers with unhealthy diets and lacking in exercise. Many periodontal patients also have diabetes, which has been linked to increased heart disease risk. A dentist can recommend the appropriate procedures to combat gum disease and lower the risk of heart disease.