Your Dentist Says Gum Disease is Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

May 4, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Benjamin Hornstein @ 11:20 am

A woman pulling her lip to expose her gums.

Studies indicate that the mouth is a window into the rest of the body. Chances are, if you have good oral health, there is a good chance that your body is also generally healthy. If you have periodontal disease, you are actually at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Research has also found that patients with gum disease had a higher risk of stroke and developing diseases of the blood vessels and arteries.

To learn about the link and how to protect yourself, keep reading this post from your dentist.

The Stats on Gum Disease and Cardiovascular Disease

When it comes to gum disease, patients do not only have to worry about having chronic bad breath or bleeding gums when they brush. Gum disease opens patients up to many other risks related to their overall health. In fact, researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease.

Currently, over 85 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, while more than 200 million Americans have some form of periodontal disease. About 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease annually and 795,000 people have a stroke in the U.S. annually.

Luckily, your dentist is in a unique position to catch early signs of periodontal disease, and therefore the risk factors for heart disease. It is just another reason not to skip your regular dental visits.

What the Scientists Think the Link Could Be

Scientists believe the main link to be the process in which oral bacteria enters the bloodstream. When a patient has gum disease, the connective tissue between their oral cavity and bloodstream breaks down, allowing oral bacteria to travel to other parts of the body. This causes inflammation and contributes to the formation of cardiovascular disease. If enough bacteria travel through the bloodstream, arterial plaque can form, causing blood vessels to narrow and create blockages. Inflammation restricts the blood vessels further, reducing blood flow and increasing the risk of clots.

To avoid the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, it is important that patients recognize the signs of periodontal disease and seek treatment when necessary.

The Symptoms for Periodontal Disease

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Red, swollen, tender, or painful gums
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating
  • Mouth sores
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Pus between the gums and teeth

If your dentist detects early warning signs of gum disease, you can prevent it from developing further by simply improving your brushing or flossing technique and using different oral care products. If gum disease has set in, your dentist can also perform gum disease therapy in the form of scaling, root planing, antibiotic therapy, and laser treatment for precise bacteria removal and for promoting gum reattachment.

Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by keeping up with your oral care routine and visiting your dentist. To confirm your oral health status, schedule an appointment with your dentist today!

About the Author

Dr. Benjamin Hornstein has been providing gum therapy treatments for decades and shows no signs of slowing down. With the help of a diode laser for soft tissue procedures, he can reduce periodontal infection in a more precise and conservative way compared to traditional therapies. To learn more about gum disease prevention, treatment, or about his practice, contact him at (216) 595-1710 or visit his website.

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