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The Connection Between Heart Disease and Oral Health

Posted on 4/15/2024 by Weo Admin
 healthy teeth and oral hygeineYour oral health can indicate early signs of other health issues, especially heart diseases. Studies have shown connections between gum disease and heart disease, although more research is needed. Understanding this link is key to protecting both your oral and overall health.

How Gum Disease Occurs

Gum disease starts with bacteria buildup along your gumline, leading to inflammation and possible bleeding. As it progresses, it can damage tissues and supporting bone, causing loose teeth. Risk factors like smoking can worsen gum disease.

Association With Cardiovascular Issues

Though not fully proven as a cause, associations between cardiovascular disease and gum disease have been found in research. Possible explanations center on inflammation spreading systemically from infected gums, increasing risk. Bacteria entering the bloodstream may also play a role.

Earlier Cardiovascular Incidents

Some studies reveal those experiencing gum disease earlier in life undergo more cardiovascular incidents like heart attacks later on versus those maintaining better oral health. More incidents also occurred closer to the time of gum disease diagnosis rather than years later.

Artery Hardening

In multiple studies, those having deep cleanings due to advanced gum disease were found to have more significant hardening of neck arteries. This artery stiffening heightens the risk of strokes and heart attacks. However, this was an association study rather than showing definitive causation.

Higher Protein Levels

Higher levels of proteins signaling heart disease have also been witnessed in the bloodwork of those enduring gum disease. For example, higher C-reactive protein levels may indicate future cardiovascular issues.

Improving Both Heart and Oral Health

As associations continue being investigated, focus on prevention. Consistent dental visits allow early gum disease detection and treatment if needed, controlling inflammation. Daily at-home oral hygiene, healthy diets, exercise, and restricting smoking can also improve outcomes for teeth and heart health.

Seeking Care

If concerned that oral bacteria may be harming your cardiovascular health, share this with your physician and general dentist. Specialist referrals, advanced testing, or intensive cleanings may help reduce bacteria and inflammation in your mouth.
Though not considered the lone cause of heart disease, reducing gum disease may be beneficial alongside traditional cardiac risk factor management. Protect both your smile and heart through preventative health habits and care.

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