Research is constantly uncovering new associations between various health conditions, heart health and oral health among them. Studies have not definitively proven a mechanism for how gingivitis, periodontitis, or poor gum health may actually cause or contribute to diseases of the heart and vascular system, meaning the official word on the subject is still “inconclusive”, but study findings are alarming and worthy of consideration. A consensus review over 100 studies determined there seems to be a relationship between heart heath and oral health. Here are a few of the findings:
- Gum disease by itself appears to be a risk factor for coronary artery disease.
- Gum diseases is an inflammatory condition, and the bio-markers of inflammation are a major indicator of heart attack risk.
- A link was found between clogged arteries in the legs and gum disease.
- Though gum disease itself hasn’t been directly linked to stroke, gum disease is an important risk factor for diseases of the vessels and arteries that are responsible for the blood supply the brain, which is a risk factor for stroke.
- The same bacteria found in gum disease are found in blood vessels that are going through atherosclerosis (hardening).
So be diligent with your oral hygiene routine : brush twice per day and floss daily, and get regular cleanings and checkups.
Let us know if we at Mall of Georgia Dentistry can help you with any aspect of maintaining a healthy smile. Come see us for regular cleanings and checkups, especially if you have periodontal conditions. If having great oral health isn’t a reward enough by itself, consider how your heart might benefit!