Dental Care and Heart Disease

You may be wondering what your teeth have to do with heart disease. Well, the health of your teeth and gums has a lot to do with heart disease as reported by ongoing studies from many sources including the American Dental Association.

These studies have shown increased risk for heart disease in people with periodontal disease (gum recession, inflammation or bleeding). One study found that 85 percent of heart attack patients also had periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease, as compared with 29 percent of people with no heart problems.

Another study on hypertension found that severe gum disease was associated with damage on the left side of the heart and chronic gum disease was associated with high cholesterol levels, heart disease and stroke.

Having diabetes also puts you at higher risk of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by inflammation, recession and bleeding of the gums. If the blood sugar levels are high, this also means increased levels of sugar are present in the saliva. Your mouth is a warm, dark and damp place with sugar as a food source: a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The increased sugar in the saliva also coats the teeth and promotes tooth decay.