February 4, 2023
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, heart disease is the number one cause of death in America, resulting in 695,547 fatalities in 2021.It may be a good idea for people to seriously consider how best to care for their cardiovascular health.
What many people may not know is that a fair amount of data suggests a strong connection between people’s oral health and cardiovascular disease. In particular, gum disease seems to significantly increase people’s likelihood of having heart problems. If you want to know more about the potential connection between these conditions, here’s a guide that can explain this interesting link.
Drawing a Connection
At first, you may be surprised to hear that your oral health can have a dramatic effect on the health of your heart, but that seems to be what a lot of research suggests. One analysis of several different studies found that patients with gum disease were 20% more likely to develop cardiovascular problems.
In response to the data, both the American Dental Association and American Heart Association have acknowledged that there’s a significant connection between the two conditions.
A Likely Story
While it hasn’t been conclusively proven how gum disease leads to cardiovascular issues, one theory claims that the connection has to do with bacteria. Advanced gum disease causes the gums to recede from the teeth, creating small pockets for bacteria to seep into.
It’s believed that these bacteria can enter the bloodstream from these gum pockets, moving into other parts of the body. These bacteria can then form plaque deposits in the bloodstream, which may contribute to serious heart problems.
Now that you know that gum disease can cause much more than just bad breath, you may be a little worried. Thankfully, research has shown that treating someone’s gum disease nullifies any increased chances they have of developing heart problems. If you want to keep your heart healthy, talk to your dentist—they’ll be able to support you in getting the treatment you need.
About the Author
Dr. Laura Philipps has been a dentist for over 20 years, and her commitment to helping her patients enjoy a better quality of life hasn’t waned in the slightest. She knows that the best way to help people is to listen to their needs, so she takes the time to understand her patients individually. Dr. Philipps received her Doctor of Dental Medicine from Tufts University, and she’s a current member of the American Dental Association.
If you have any questions about how gum disease relates to heart health, she can be reached at her website or by phone at (432) 570-4433.
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