4455 E. Camelback Road, Suite #E-100, Phoenix, AZ 85018

How Gum Health Impacts Your Cardiovascular Health

Posted on 5/15/2024 by Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona
Photo of healthy and gum disease tooth at Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona in Phoenix, AZTo most people, the heart and the mouth seem like entirely separate parts of the body with little connection to each other. However, emerging research reveals that there is indeed a link between gum health and heart health. While the specific nature of the association remains unknown, it is essential to understand the different ways that your periodontal health can affect your heart.

What Is Gum Disease

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the gums. It is often characterized by swollen gums, increased gum sensitivity, regular bleeding in the gums, and loose or missing teeth. Without timely treatment, periodontitis can destroy the gums and the jawbone, leading to gum recession and tooth loss.

How Does Gum Health Affect Cardiovascular Health?

Since gum disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the inflammation in the mouth can trigger systemic inflammation throughout the body. This systemic inflammation can lead to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and other cardiovascular diseases. In particular, if the immune response of the body to periodontal bacteria is overly strong, it can trigger an equally strong inflammatory response in the arteries. Inflammation in the arteries can hasten the development of heart diseases.

It is also possible that the bacteria that cause gum disease can seep into the bloodstream through the gum tissues. In large concentrations, the bacteria can form arterial plaque, restricting blood flow to various organs. The arterial plaque can also massively increase the chances of blood clots and cause blockages that can trigger heart attacks and strokes.

Seek Professional Help

Apart from the standard brushing and flossing routine, you should also schedule regular visits to your dentist. The dentist is better placed to detect the onset of gum diseases early on, which lets you begin treatment before things worsen. Most importantly, avoiding the risk factors of gum disease, such as tobacco and excess sugar, also helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
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Phoenix, AZ 85018
(480) 504-0506
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