Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, does not only affect your oral health. Based on several studies, the condition of our gums may actually have an effect on our heart’s health as well. Though there is still no direct evidence that has come out to strengthen this claim, statistics indicate that people with gum disease also have a high risk (almost twice) of developing coronary artery disease.
How Periodontal Disease May Lead to a Heart Attack
Most people would cross their eyebrows once they try to connect teeth and heart problems. After all, people have somehow learned to isolate oral health with the rest of our body’s well-being or medical condition.
So how do the studies connect gum disease and heart health? The answer lies between our gums—or should we accurately say, the bacteria that lie between our gums.
When we eat, food particles get stuck in our teeth and bacteria feed on them. As they chew away on these food particles, acids are released into our mouth, which causes plaque build up and cavities. The studies have linked the bacteria as a cause of heart problems because when they manage to eat through the gums, they also enter our bloodstream. From there, they attach themselves to fatty deposits in our arteries and cause a “blockage” that may eventually lead to a stroke or heart attack.
The studies have also observed that people with periodontal disease are more likely to struggle with atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. That’s because as the fatty deposits stick to the sides of the arteries, they build up, clog, and narrow down the area where blood can flow.
What to Do Now?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is still the best preventive solution for periodontal disease and consequently for heart problems related to poor oral health. You also need to visit your Kennewick dentist regularly for dental checkups and professional teeth cleaning.
It would also be a good idea to avoid food items that are detrimental to your teeth. These include soda or soft drinks, sugary candies, and starchy foods like crackers and potato chips.
To have your gums checked and for a thorough dental checkup, you may contact Marineland Dental Care at 509-591-0515.