While there are no strong results to completely link or pinpoint gum disease as a direct cause for heart problems, most studies show us these surprising details:
- Gum disease is a risk factor forcoronary artery disease
- Gum disease is also a risk factor for problems related to blood vessels and arteries
- Individuals who had gum disease and had fewer teeth had a higher risk of getting a stroke.
- Bacteria found in blood vessels that undergo artherosclerosis is the same as the bacteria found in inflamed gums
Experts agree on plausible reasons for the link between heart health and dental health. One reason for this connection is inflammation, which is a common occurrence for both heart and dental problems. Artherosclerosis, which is also known as the narrowing of arteries, is associated with inflammation. Buildup of fatty deposits in the artery is also a result of this inflammatory process. Inflammation is also associated with gum disease, specifically gingivitis.
Speaking of inflammation, researchers also speculate that gum disease causing bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause swelling of blood cells, leading to arterial clogging.
So even though bad oral health does not directly cause heart disease, scientists and experts agree that there is a very close connection between both. Until researchers are completely sure, the best defense is still to adopt good oral health habits and be mindful of potential problems that might develop with your teeth and gums. Visit your dentist regularly – especially when you notice any changes in the state of your oral health.