Over the years there has been some debate about whether gum disease can cause heart disease if left untreated. That is why we like to say if you have healthy gums, you will have a healthy heart.
So, is there a link between gum disease and heart disease? According to Dr. Simone Ricketts study, 70% of the patients who participated in the study and needed heart transplants also had gum disease. She also noted that other studies show a similar pattern, indicating that patients who needed heart transplants or other cardiac surgery procedures, were more likely to have dental problems.
That is why periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are connected. If you have one disease, you are more likely to have the other. Periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are both considered chronic inflammatory conditions. When you suffer from gingivitis or periodontal disease, your body reacts with its usual inflammatory response, which is why you may notice bleeding or swelling in your gums. Inflammation is the body’s instinctive reaction to fight off infection. Inflammation is initially good for your body because it helps in the healing process. However, chronic and prolonged inflammation can lead to severe health complications. But, this doesn’t only occur in your mouth. It is spread throughout your body through your blood vessels. When your vessels become inflamed, it can cause vascular damage which can affect your heart.
That is why it is important to go to your dental check-ups twice a year. Be sure to brush twice a day to reduce your risk of gum disease. If it has been a while since your last dental visit, schedule an appointment with us, today!