With an increased emphasis on the connection between oral health and overall health, it’s no surprise that oral health is now specifically linked to heart disease. Individuals at risk include those with moderate to advanced gum disease, as the spread of bacteria throughout the body leads to inflammation. What’s more, those with pre-existing heart conditions or unsuspected heart damage are at a greater risk for complications. Colgate provides a sobering fact—more than 80 percent of Americans are living with periodontal or gum disease, which often goes unnoticed because a person’s teeth may feel fine. With this in mind, dentists are urging patients to commit to regular dental checkups in order to benefit their oral and overall health.
As mentioned, bacteria from gum disease can spread throughout the body through the blood stream and blood vessels. The bacteria attach to unhealthy or damaged areas of the heart, causing irritation and infection within the lining of the heart. The inflammation produced as a result is directly linked to conditions such as Atherosclerosis and Endocarditis. It’s important to understand that even mild forms of gum disease or the build-up of plaque over time can result in bacteria traveling throughout the body.
Signs And Symptoms Of Gum Disease
While there are varying degrees of gum disease, it’s important to see a dentist if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms. Ask yourself:
- Are my gums red, swollen or sensitive to the touch?
- Do my gums bleed when I brush or floss?
- Do I see pus or any sign of infection around my teeth?
- Are my gums pulling away from my teeth?
- Do I have a bad taste in my mouth on a regular basis?
- Are some of my teeth shifting away from others? Do some teeth feel loose?
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and with toothpaste that is ADA-accepted. However, regular dental visits are not only the best decision for your teeth, they are the heart-healthy choice as well.
For an awarding dental experience in Marietta and East Cobb, Dr. Leia Porcaro invites you to call Grateful Dental today.