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How Gum Disease and Heart Disease Are Related

February 5, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — vistadental @ 7:10 pm
Graphic with a heart on a blue background

February is American Heart Month, which is an opportunity to remind people of the importance of a healthy heart. Heart disease is the most common cause of death among adults in the U.S., so it’s important that people understand the risk factors involved with this condition.

Believe it or not, dentists can play a pretty important role here. If recent scientific research is to be believed, then gum disease can increase your chances of contracting this condition. If you want to know more about the link between the two, here’s a guide that should tell you what you want to know.                      

The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

When you first hear that these two conditions are related, it may come as a bit of a surprise—what do your gums have to do with your heart? However, many studies have found a correlation; one meta-analysis of current research found that patients with gum disease were 20% more likely to have heart problems. One study in particular found that cleaning patients’ gums reduced the amount they’d have to spend on cardiovascular care anywhere from 10 to 40 percent.

Researchers think that bacteria from plaque deposits—the key cause of gum disease—can potentially seep into the bloodstream, infecting other organs. The same inflammation that can occur in the gums may also affect the heart, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

As you now know, preventing gum disease is incredibly important to protecting your heart health, and your body in general. To do that, there are quite a few things you can do.

First on the list is good dental hygiene. Breaking up plaque deposits reduces the number of dangerous bacteria in the mouth. Brush twice a day, floss daily, and make use of an antibacterial mouthwash to stave off infection.

You should also make it a point to see your dentist twice a year; they’ll be able to clean in places that you can’t reach on your own, preventing plaque buildup in the far corners of the mouth.

About the Author

Dr. Marc Thomas is a dentist who prides himself on being able to exceed the expectations of his patients for a caring, considerate, and knowledgeable dentist. If you aren’t the biggest fan of the dentist, he’d love to change your mind! Dr. Thomas is a graduate of the University of the Pacific, and he worked in the U.S. Army Dental Corps after graduating.

If you have any questions about how gum disease can affect your heart health, he can be reached at his website or by phone at (775) 626-3535.

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