For decades, scientists have examined the relationship between gum disease and cardiovascular health. Does a healthy mouth equal a healthy heart? More and more, the investigation says “yes.”
Doctors have been talking about the potential link for nearly two decades and with good reason. Researchers have noticed that people with periodontal disease are approximately twice as likely to have heart disease.
Role of Bacteria and Inflammation
Scientists believe the link between the two diseases is due to the same bacteria. In this scenario, bacteria found in the infected gum tissue around teeth break down the boundary between the gums and the underlying connective tissue, leading to inflammation. During normal chewing or brushing, bacteria can get into the bloodstream and travel to separate parts of the circulatory system, advancing to the formation of cardiovascular disease.
Preventing Gum Disease May Prevent Heart Disease
So far there's no concrete proof that treating gum disease will prevent cardiovascular disease. But the connection is fascinating enough that dentists and doctors claim it's yet another reason to be cautious about preventing gum disease in the first place. Daily tooth brushing and flossing can prevent and even reverse the opening stages of gum disease, called gingivitis.
If our dentist says you have gingivitis, we will give you a brushing and flossing demonstration to make sure you're doing both properly. Flossing sweeps aside the tacky film between teeth that contributes to plaque growth. Twice-yearly cleanings by us are crucial in extracting any plaque down in the gum line area.
While scientists are still investigating whether gum disease inflammation is the root of the problem. One thing is certain, there is a link from periodontal disease to heart disease. It is better to be safer than sorry. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Avoiding gum disease may in fact protect you from heart disease. If you have any questions about your oral care, contact us. If it has been overly long since your last appointment, call us today to schedule a checkup, we are happy to assist in your oral care.
727 E. Bethany Home Road Suite # A100 Phoenix, AZ 85014-2156