Published: 02/12/2019

Your smile may hold the key to heart health. Research has proven a link between oral health and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Maintaining healthy gums is more important than we realized. Preventing periodontal disease can help you live a longer, healthier life.

How Periodontal Disease Affects Your Mouth
There are bacteria that live in your mouth. When these bacteria are not cleared away, they grow and infect the gum tissue. This results in irritation and inflammation of the gums. Typically, you will notice that your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth. If left untreated, the infection slowly destroys your smile. Symptoms include:
• Swollen, bleeding gums
• Tooth sensitivity
• Gum recession
• Bad breath
• Shifting teeth
• Tooth loss
• Bone loss

How Periodontal Disease Affects Your Heart
The bacteria that infect your gums can enter the bloodstream and spread, circulating throughout the body. Research also suggests that bacteria play a role in the development of plaque. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the narrowing and clogging of the arteries can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Gum disease also results in a chronic infection, which causes your immune system to respond with inflammation. We now know that inflammation can threaten the health of vital organs and increase your likelihood of developing a systemic illness, which includes heart disease.

The relationship between periodontal disease and overall health is extensive. Those with periodontal disease are also more likely to suffer from diabetes, respiratory issues, ulcers, dementia, and certain types of cancer. Protecting your healthy gums should become as essential as getting rest, exercise, and good nutrition.

To learn more about the link between heart health and periodontal disease in Rockville, MD, call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steven N. Rice. Dr. Rice is an experienced periodontist, offering advanced laser treatments to fight gum disease.

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