What Does Gum Disease Have to Do with Heart Disease? The Family Dentist in Troy Explains the Relationship

Written by Dr. Bentley on Apr 17, 2018

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition where the gum tissue surrounding the teeth becomes infected. Bacteria grow above and below the gum line, eventually causing the gum tissue to separate from teeth.

It is a disease that is far too common, and patients of the family dentist in Troy, OH are often surprised to find there are other serious physical complications associated with the disease.

Periodontal disease, heart disease, and stroke may seem to be completely unrelated, but research has shown that people suffering from gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. Researchers have also found that oral infection is a risk factor for stroke.  

Heart Disease and Stroke

Research has further proven that the presence of periodontal disease can aggravate existing heart conditions. Several theories attempt to explain the link between heart disease, stroke and periodontal disease, some of which are:

Oral bacteria affect the heart – There are many different strains of periodontal bacteria. Some of these strains of bacteria can enter the bloodstream and attach to the fatty plaques in the coronary arteries. This buildup contributes to clot formation, putting the individual at higher risk.
Weakened immune system – Individuals who have high levels of oral bacteria may also have weaker immune systems. This may set off a chain of events that have been shown to contribute to the onset of certain forms of heart disease.

Diagnosing Gum Disease

Since periodontal disease appears to be a risk factor for both heart attack and stroke, it is essential to seek immediate treatment. Your family dentist will conduct a thorough examination to assess the exact condition of the teeth, gums, and jawbone.  

Treating Gum Disease

Mild gum disease, or gingivitis, can usually be treated with a thorough professional cleaning and improved oral hygiene habits. Periodontitis, the severe form of gum disease may require a deep cleaning treatment, antibiotics, and increased frequency of cleanings in the future.

Call Today to Arrange An Appointment

Don’t put your oral and general health at risk. Call the family dentist in Troy, OH today to arrange an appointment to make sure you’re protected.