Periodontal Disease Linked to Heart Health?
We know a healthy mouth means fresh breath and savings on your dental bills, but does a healthy mouth also mean a healthy heart?
Research says YES!
Scott Merritt, DMD, founder and partner of Bridgemill Dentistry in Canton, GA, states “I absolutely believe there is a strong correlation between oral disease and heart function.”
Here is some information we found on WebMD…
Essentially, “inflamation, or swelling” is the problem. “Scientists know that it leads to hardened arteries, also called atherosclerosis. That’s a condition that makes it hard for blood to flow to your heart. It puts you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke.”
“Inflamation is also a sure sign of gum disease. Sore, swollen gums are the main symptom. There are two main types: gingivitis, which causes red, painful, tender gums, and periodontitis, which leads to infected pockets of germy pus. That’s the type that raises the worry for heart problems. It allows bacteria and other toxins to spread below the gum line.”
“Studies show that the bacteria found in periodontal disease — including Streptococcus sanguis, which plays a role in strokes– spreads to the heart. “The two appear to go hand-in-hand,” Merritt says. “In the absence of gum disease, there is significantly less of these bacteria in the heart.”
Although there is no hard evidence that you can prevent heart disease by simply preventing gum disease, it seems more important than ever to take your oral health seriously.