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Gum Inflammation and Heart Disease: Important Information from a Complete Health Dentist
Our complete health dentist wants everyone to understand the relationship between gum disease and heart disease. Knowing how these conditions are linked can help individuals prevent life-threatening issues like heart attacks or strokes.
Gum disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque or tartar making its way beneath the gum line. This causes an immune system response as antibodies try to kill the bacteria. It leads to inflammation which causes damage to gum tissues and the bone structures that support teeth over time.
Heart disease can be caused by oral bacteria spreading to other parts of the body or plaque building up in arteries, blocking their flow. The result of poor blood circulation can be a stroke or heart attack. About 80% of people in the U.S. have some form of gum disease and that increases their risk of developing cardiovascular issues by up to three times. The early stage of gum disease called gingivitis typically does not show any symptoms. As a result, most people with gum disease have no clue about their condition, which is where a complete health dentist comes in.
A complete health dentist explores gum disease and heart disease
As we mentioned earlier, people who have been diagnosed with gum disease are more likely to develop issues with their cardiovascular system. The same strain of bacteria that is responsible for periodontal disease has also been linked to some types of cardiovascular issues. For example, oral bacteria can get into the bloodstream and infect tissues in the heart. The condition is called endocarditis.
Bacteria in the mouth can also be inhaled into the respiratory tract, leading to a variety of health conditions like pneumonia and heart disease. Cardiovascular conditions like arteries that have been clogged by plaque and strokes have been linked to the inflammation caused by bacteria that live in the mouth.
Risk factors for heart disease
People who are dealing with health conditions like periodontal disease have an increased risk of heart disease. Those who fail to practice good oral hygiene are more likely to develop gum disease. The early stages can be reversed by improving dental hygiene and getting teeth cleaned at least two times a year, which is why a complete health dentist highly recommends daily flossing and brushing, as well as routine appointments.
A complete health dentist says that poor oral hygiene creates an environment for oral bacteria to thrive. Some of these germs make their way beneath the gums leading to inflammation. The bacteria in the mouth can make its way into the bloodstream, elevating the levels of C-reactive proteins in the person's blood. This leads to inflammation of blood vessels like arteries, restricting blood flow, and increasing the person's risk of stroke or heart disease.
Detecting gum disease
The early stage of gum disease typically does not cause any symptoms. However, symptoms that might start to appear as the disease progresses include:
- Red, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed easily when stimulated
- Pus coming from the gums
- Weird taste in the mouth or bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
Stop gum disease before it leads to heart disease
Call or visit our Madison to learn more about how gum disease can have a negative impact on your overall health. Our complete health dentists can help you.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Complete Health Dentistry in Madison, MS.
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