Can Periodontitis Cause Heart Disease?

Periodontitis & Heart DiseaseThere have recently been a number of surfacing studies that continues to show more evidence of a link between periodontal disease and other serious conditions like cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Among these researching entities are the Forsyth Institute, the University of Florida and the University of British Columbia. The American Academy of Periodontology also acknowledges the risk that gum disease may aggravate or worsen pre-existing heart conditions.

How Oral Health Affects Heart Health

While there
s no definitive cause-and-effect research, several studies suggest that inflammation from gum disease has a negative influence on our heart health. Inflammation is our body
s natural response to fighting infections or injuries. When a person has periodontal disease, they experience a buildup of substances in the blood as a result of the infection. Research shows that this buildup is the link to how some people with gum disease will experience an increase in heart conditions and other chronic conditions like diabetes.

It is believed that the inflammation associated with gum disease causes changes in the patient
s bloodstream, which may then slowly damage the blood vessels that are located in the patient
s brain and heart. Essentially, gum disease alters our blood as it circulates through the body, which causes slow by observable changes in the individual
s overall health.

Gum Disease and Stroke

Several studies have indicated that in addition to cardiovascular disease, gum disease may also increase chances of stroke. In one study that aimed specifically to look at this phenomenon, patients diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia (also called cerebral ischemia or acute ischemic stroke) were examined in comparison to a control group without the condition. The final data showed that in comparison to the control group, those who experienced acute ischemic stroke were more likely to also have an oral infection such as periodontitis.

Preventing Complications

The best way to help avoid cardiovascular complications associated with oral disease is to ensure that you
re taking care of your oral health. Practicing routine oral hygiene is the first defense against gum disease. Patients should be sure to regularly brush and floss, as well as have regular visits to the dentist. In cases where patients already have some degree of periodontal disease, a periodontist can help to treat the condition. The best treatment will depend on the level of severity of the periodontitis, as well as some details about each patient.

If you need periodontal treatment for gum disease, please call us as soon as possible to help protect your health.