Did you know that your oral health can have a significant impact on your heart health? Studies have shown that there is a strong link between periodontitis, a common form of gum disease, and an increased risk of heart disease.
At our practice, we are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal oral health, which can in turn promote overall health and wellbeing. Here’s what you need to know about the connection between heart disease and periodontitis:
What is periodontitis? Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the gums and bone that support the teeth. It is caused by bacteria that accumulate in plaque, which can lead to inflammation, gum recession, and bone loss.
What is heart disease? Heart disease refers to a range of conditions that can affect the heart and blood vessels, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, and arrhythmias. Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide.
How are periodontitis and heart disease connected? While the exact mechanism is not fully understood, research has shown that the bacteria associated with periodontitis can enter the bloodstream and trigger an immune response, which can lead to inflammation in other parts of the body, including the arteries. This inflammation can contribute to the development of heart disease.
What are the symptoms of periodontitis? Symptoms of periodontitis may include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, bad breath, receding gums, and loose or shifting teeth. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek dental care as soon as possible.
How can you prevent periodontitis? The best way to prevent periodontitis is to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. If you have a history of periodontitis or are at an increased risk of developing gum disease, your dentist may recommend additional preventive measures, such as more frequent cleanings or specialized treatments.
If you have periodontitis or are concerned about your risk of developing gum disease, it’s important to talk to your dentist and healthcare provider about the steps you can take to protect your oral and overall health. Together, we can help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile and reduce your risk of heart disease.