Link between Gum Disease and Heart Attacks
When a person has gum disease, the body reacts to mouth bacteria with swelling. Gum disease is an inflammatory disease, as can be heart disease. This swelling response results in inflammation in the blood vessels lining the heart which contributes to fatty deposit build-up inside the heart’s arteries. Research shows these bacteria travel through the bloodstream and into the heart.
- Heart disease accounts for 25% of deaths each year in the U.S.
- Half of the people who have heart disease have none of the traditional risk factors such as high cholesterol
- Gum disease doubles a person’s risk for heart attack
- Patients who respond to dental therapy for gum disease were four times more likely to reduce their heart disease risk category
Diagnosis and Treatment
Periodontal treatment can reduce the body’s inflammatory response and provide protection from other health issues, including those of the heart. Oral antibiotics, or those targeted right at the problem areas, combined with deep dental cleanings have shown success in controlling gum disease bacteria.
Prevent Gum Disease
- Brush and floss as recommended by a dentist
- Electric/Sonic toothbrushes help
- Keep dental cleanings and check-ups (2 x per year)