Is Gum Health Related to Heart Disease?

Oral Health

Gum disease — or as our Phoenix dentist also refers to it — periodontal disease, is an infection of the gingival tissues and bone around each of your teeth.

You’re probably familiar with gingivitis. That’s when your gums get puffy, tender, and bleed when you brush and floss. It’s caused by plaque biofilm collecting along your gums and creating toxins that irritate the tissues. Gingivitis can usually be reversed with good oral hygiene. But when it isn’t, it worsens into periodontal disease.

With periodontitis (another term for periodontal infections) we see the gums start to detach from the teeth, followed by bone loss and tooth mobility. Deep “pockets” are created under the gums, which harbor plaque biofilm and tartar.

But aggressive gum disease doesn’t just jeopardize the integrity of your teeth. It can also raise your risk and severity of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke.

How? By bacteria entering directly into your bloodstream via your mouth. Or more specifically, where the diseased gum tissues that are bleeding where the gums and bone are shrinking back. Studies have shown that this oral biofilm can dislodge from the periodontal pocket and into the blood, lodging itself in arterial linings and even the heart. As a result, they increase your chances of cardiovascular disease.

If you’re struggling with high blood pressure or at a high risk of stroke and heart attack, take a look at your mouth. What do your gums look like? Are they receding? Swollen? Bleeding? Is there a lot of buildup on your teeth? If so, a trip to our Phoenix dentist for a cleaning could be the boost your immune system needs to get on a path to recovery.  Eliminating dental biofilm with professional and therapeutic cleanings is the fastest way to jump-start your path to improved oral health.

Heart disease isn’t the only underlying health issue that’s directly linked to periodontal infections. Diabetics can also find that it’s difficult — or even impossible — to regulate their blood glucose levels if they have periodontitis. The gum infection also raises your chances of pneumonia, infertility, erectile dysfunction, and premature labor.

Fortunately, good oral hygiene and soft tissue therapy with our Phoenix dentist can help you on your journey toward better overall health. Even if you have severe gum disease, we can treat the infection so that bacterial levels are reduced, to slow the spread of biofilm into your bloodstream. Studies show that within weeks or a few months of periodontal treatment, people see stabilized blood glucose and higher fertility rates.

Our Phoenix Dentist Can Help

Treating gum disease isn’t just about your smile. It’s about staying healthy. If you’re experiencing symptoms of periodontitis, we encourage you to call Central Valley Dentistry to schedule a consultation with Dr. Behbahani. We’ll arrange to have you stop in for an exam and periodontal assessment. Depending on the severity of your condition, a preventative or deep cleaning will be recommended. Call us today for more information!

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