Studies have shown that there is a link between heart disease and gum disease, also known as gingivitis.
What's the link? Researchers believe that it's inflammation.
What is gum disease? Gum disease, also known as gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue. Often the gums are red and swollen and bleed easily when being brushed and flossed. Gingivitis is usually caused by in adequate oral hygiene and can be reversed with good oral care.
If left untreated gingivitis WILL spread below the gum line and become periodontitis also known as perio disease. Perio causes the gum tissue and teeth to break down because of the toxins in the bacteria beneath the gums. The break down of the gum tissue can cause bone loss and the teeth to become loose. If perio is left untreated eventually you will loose your teeth.
Oral bacteria travels through your blood stream and into other organs in your body!
Freaked out yet? You should be.
Recent studies show that the same inflammation that causes your gums to bleed while brushing and flossing may also inflame your arteries, specifically the arteries of your heart. Inflamed arteries will begin to narrow and this can lead to risk of blood clots and more often stroke.
Atherosclerosis happens when deposits in your blood stick to the artery walls and clog your arteries...bacteria from the mouth have been found in these deposits.
Can you cure gingivitis? Absolutely...brushing twice a day combined with flossing will solve the problem.
Can you cure periodontal disease? NO...but you can keep it under control. Unfortunately you cannot recreate bone after bone loss has occurred. It is best to start treating as soon as you are aware to keep bone loss from progressing.
Stop gum disease with these simple steps
- See your dentist at least 2 times a year for cleanings and check-ups
- Get the recommended x-rays so that the dentist can diagnose unseen issues before they become dental emergencies.
- Keep existing health conditions under control
Healthy mouth...healthy heart.
Cheers from Dr. Peterson and his dental team