Continue reading to learn more about how periodontal disease affects the heart.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease also known as gum disease is an infection caused by an accumulation of harmful bacteria within the mouth around the tooth and under the gums.When an individual has periodontal disease (gum disease), they have a high amount of tartar, known as calculus, in the mouth. When plaque is not removed, the minerals in the saliva make the plaque hard and can change into calculus. Calculus is a porous material that more plaque can attach, harden, and slowly get larger and larger. This calculus is impossible to remove without the use of professional dental tools. In the case of gum disease, calculus (this harmful bacteria) begins to eat away at both the gum and bone structure, causing pockets to form in between the tooth and gum. Over time, the teeth will become loose, and the patient may face eventual tooth loss if treatment is not sought out. In order to properly manage the infection, deep cleanings known as scaling and root planing are done to remove the harmful bacteria below the gumline.
How The Heart Is Affected
As periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gum tissue. The gum tissue has many blood vessels and an untreated infection eventually faces the risk of entering the bloodstream, which can easily and quickly transmit the infection to the heart. The bacteria in the mouth loves to affect the heart valve.This has the potential to lead to heart attack, stroke, and various heart conditions.
People who have their teeth professionally cleaned as recommended by their dentist are 24% less likely to be at risk for a heart attack and 13% less likely to have a stroke.
It also has the potential to cause atherosclerosis, a condition in which dangerous plaque builds up in the arteries. This puts the individual at risk for heart attack and stroke.
Keeping Your Heart and Gums Healthy
Maintaining your oral health reduces your risk of developing gum disease, and consequently helps maintain the health of your heart, as well.
In order to preserve your oral health, it is important to abide by the following:
- Brush and floss thoroughly twice daily
- Attend your dental cleaning appointments as scheduled by your dentist
- Avoid tobacco products
- Avoid foods and beverages that are high in acidic sugars
- Alert your dentist if you are experiencing pain or bleeding in gums
Maintaining your overall health is a collaborative effort on all fronts. With the information you’ve learned here, you’ll now be able to fully understand the correlation between periodontal disease and the health of the heart.
Gum Disease Treatment in San Jose
Here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists, we will help you maintain your oral health in order to keep your body healthy as a whole.
To learn more about the correlation between gum disease and the heart or to get scheduled for an appointment in our San Jose dental office, give us a call anytime at 408-478-9081.
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