The Link Between Heart Disease and Dental Health

dental health and heart disease

The Link Between Heart Disease and Dental Health

Gum disease is a dental health problem that puts your overall health at risk! In fact, it can even increase your risk of heart disease. At Dr. Saba and Associates, we want to help you maintain a healthy heart and a healthy smile by preventing gum disease and its harmful effects. Continue reading to learn more about the link between heart disease and dental health. 

What Is the Link Between Heart Disease and Dental Health?

The link between heart disease, gum disease, and overall dental health is oral bacteria. When plaque builds up on your teeth, it hardens into tartar. Plaque and tartar are both full of harmful bacteria that weaken your teeth by wearing down your enamel. But the most dangerous consequence of bacteria build-up is periodontal (gum) disease.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissue that begins with red, swollen, and bleeding gums. As the disease progresses, the infection grows worse and travels deep below your gums, affecting your jaw. If gum disease goes untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and bone loss.

Because gum disease causes bleeding, gum infections also increase the chances of bacteria entering your bloodstream. The bacteria can then travel to your heart and cause inflammation that restricts your arteries and increases your risk of a stroke, a heart attack, or other complications of heart disease

Gum Disease, Oral Bacteria, and the Rest of Your Body

Once harmful bacteria enter your bloodstream, they can travel anywhere in your body. The bacteria that attack soft tissue and cause inflammation can lead to various health issues. 

Other medical conditions that gum disease can cause or complicate include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lung disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Many of these medical conditions will also increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, the majority of medications that treat these conditions also cause dry mouth, which makes gum disease even worse. 

In short, gum disease is easy to develop but difficult to get rid of. Professional teeth cleanings can help reverse the effects of early gum disease, but once the disease progresses, it never truly goes away. Frequent dental treatments, cleanings, and consistently good oral hygiene are necessary to keep the disease under control. 

Improve Your Heart Health with Good Oral Hygiene

As you grow older, your risk for gum disease increases, so it’s important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine throughout your lifetime. According to the American Heart Association, brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes or more can reduce your risk of heart disease.  

Regularly taking care of your oral health will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, preserve your smile, and protect your heart and overall health.

For an oral hygiene routine that best protects your oral health, you should:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Attend regular dental checkups
  • Clean your dentures daily 

Gum Disease Treatment in Sun Lakes, Arizona

If you notice any signs of gum disease, such as tender, swollen, bleeding, or receding gums, act quickly by scheduling an appointment with us. Drs. Saba and Romanin in Sun Lakes will help you halt the infection and prevent further damage. We offer a wide range of dental services to fight gum disease, including non-surgical gum treatments and preventative cleanings. Call 480-895-2111 or fill out this form to make an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/18/2022).