Could a great dental check-up mean great things for your heart? There is more and more research showing evidence of this. Scientists are finding there is a strong link between the health of your gums and the health of your heart.
What are the links between Cardiovascular Disease and Oral Health?
One major link between cardiovascular disease and gum disease is that they both are caused by inflammation. Inflammation causes the arteries to build up more plaque and become harder leading to decreased circulatory flow which potentially can cause heart attacks, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
Inflammation in the gums is caused by bacteria and when left untreated bacteria will continue to grow and inflammation will increase. Over time inflammatory products lead to the destruction of the periodontium, the tissue that holds teeth in place. This process can eventually result in tooth loss.
The oral cavity contains a large supply of blood vessels that bring nutrients and remove waste from the area. Bacteria and inflammatory products can move into the blood stream from the oral cavity which can cause an elevation in C-reactive protein which is a maker for inflammation in arteries. This leads to the potential for cardiovascular problems such as increased blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
Taking small steps small steps like brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist and hygienist regularly may help decrease the chances of heart problems in your future.
If you have any questions or would like further information about this article please give us a call.