Links Between Heart Disease and Oral Health

A personal holding a plastic heart in their hands

IF YOU’RE ANYTHING LIKE THE REST OF OUR PATIENTS HERE AT DPB, you understand the importance of taking care of your heart, right? Of course! Did it ever occur to you that your measly toothbrush ranks up there with cardiovascular exercise in keeping your heart healthy? Crazy, but true! According to Dr. Guzman, “Many recent studies suggest that gum disease—and other oral health issues—are DIRECTLY related to heart problems.”

In a recent study by the American Academy of Periodontology, it was found that people with periodontal disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease. An additional study found that common oral health problems, including gingivitis, cavities, and/or missing teeth are just as good at predicting heart disease as are bad cholesterol levels!

There is still a lot to learn about these discoveries and the evidence seems to mount each year. Dr. Guzman adds, “The bacteria you have in your mouth can enter your bloodstream through your gums. These same bacteria can then clump up in artery plaques. There is one theory gaining more acceptance that suggests the bacteria sticks to the fatty plaques in your bloodstream and directly contributes to blockages.”

Inflammation is another theory that revolves around your body’s defenses against bacteria. Oral bacteria in your bloodstream can cause your blood cells to swell, leading to clot risks and the narrowing of arteries.

The exact relationships between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease are still unclear, but, as today’s research suggests, there is a connection. Don’t forget about all the other things you can do to keep your heart healthy like exercise, eating healthy foods, and taking care of risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Since it’s so easy to treat periodontal problems, take advantage of Dr. Guzman and his entire team’s help! And don’t forget that prevention goes a long way in avoiding problems in the future!

If you have any questions, be sure to contact us! We love treating our friends and patients. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

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