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The Connection Between Heart Health and Dental Health

In recent years, researchers and medical professionals have found a surprising connection between heart health and dental health. Although poor oral health has not been proven to cause heart disease, studies indicate that there may be a connection. So, beyond living a healthy lifestyle and making good diet choices, maintaining your smile could help in the fight against heart disease and keep your ticker strong.

Periodontitis: A Risk Factor for Coronary Disease

Periodontitis, commonly referred to as gum disease, is extremely common. One out of every two Americans over the age of 30 struggle with this dental concern. Besides causing uncomfortable symptoms like sore or bleeding gums, gum recession and even bad breath, studies indicate there is a connection between gum disease and heart disease.

Those who struggle with chronic periodontitis often present with another symptom — increased thickness of the neck blood vessels. This sign is a huge indicator that a patient may also be at risk for coronary disease. In fact, those with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have heart disease. This means semi-annual dental visits may do more than assist oral health. They could be essential to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attack.

Understanding the Link Between Periodontitis and Heart Health

So, what causes this link between oral health and heart health? Researchers suspect that the culprits may be bacteria and inflammation.

The Same Bacteria Present in Both Conditions

The same bacteria that affects the gums of those with periodontal disease has been found as a contributing factor to cardiovascular disease. When a patient has gum disease, this bacteria breaks down the connective tissue between the teeth and the gum tissue.

However, this bacteria doesn’t always stay put. Normal activities, like chewing or brushing teeth, can allow the bacteria to enter the bloodstream. As it travels through the body, the bacteria can move to other parts of the circulatory system. Patients with atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries or blood vessels, have this same bacteria prevalent in their body.

Inflammation Is a Common Factor

Inflammation is a common factor in diseases that affect both the mouth and the heart. This swelling is the body’s natural response to infection, and it’s an essential aspect of the immune system. However, inflammation that is out of control can be a contributing factor to heart disease, increasing the risk of serious heart concerns.

Researchers believe that as oral bacteria travel through the body, it triggers inflammation that leads to the formation of arterial plaque. As plaque is deposited or moves through the blood vessels and arteries, it can cause narrowing or clog them entirely. This is what contributes to such cardiovascular conditions as endocarditis, atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

Another Reason to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Even though maintaining proper oral health will not prevent heart disease entirely, it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular health issues. Proper care of your teeth and gums can be achieved through:

  • Twice daily brushing
  • Daily flossing
  • Regularly replacing your toothbrush
  • Regular dental checkups and cleanings

Learn More About Hiossen® Implants

A beautiful smile begins with superior dental products. If you would like to learn more about Hiossen Implants, contact one of our representatives today.