According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States each year. That’s about 1 in every 4 deaths and is the leading cause of death in both men and women.
Coronary Heart Disease is the most common type and it kills more than 370,000 people on an annual basis. These statistics are enough to raise concern for just about anyone.
Heart Disease and Oral Health
Recent studies have shown there is a direct link between your oral health and your overall health. It is estimated that more than 80% of Americans are living with gum disease, which often goes undiagnosed and then leads to serious health problems. Many of these health problems extend beyond just oral health problems.
These studies have shown that if you have moderate or advanced gum disease that you are at a greater risk of having heart disease than someone who has healthy normal gums. Gum disease is directly connected to the spread of bacteria from the mouth to the heart.
The spread of this bacteria occurs as it enters the blood stream easily from the mouth. Just like holding certain medicines or even vitamins under the tongue to get them into the blood stream much quicker, bacteria and other harmful germs enter the blood stream from the mouth the exact same way. When they reach the heart, they can attach themselves to any damaged areas and cause inflammation.
This can result in an illness called “Endocarditis.” This is an infection that occurs on the inner lining of the heart
Other conditions that can occur are things like clogged arteries which According to the American Heart Association has been linked to inflammation caused by oral bacteria.
Who Is The Most At Risk For Developing Heart Disease
The patient that are most at risk to develop heart disease are those who have gingivitis or advanced forms of gum disease. If this gum disease is undiagnosed and is allowed to continue for long periods of time, the threat of heart disease worsens considerably. Even if you don’t have noticeable gum disease or inflammation, if you have plaque build up due to not taking care of your gums, it puts you at considerable risk.
You Need To Know The Warning Signs of Gum Disease
- Are you gums red, swollen and sore to the tough
- Does your gums bleed when you eat, brush your teeth or floss
- Do you ever see small pockets of puss or infection on the gums
- Do your gums appear to pull away from your teeth
- Do you have bad breath on a regular basis
- Have any of your teeth become loose
Our tendency is to ignore these things and hope they go away. However, gum disease really does need professional treatment in order to get it under control and prevent it from causing other health conditions that can even be life threatening.
A good oral hygiene program at home and making regular visits to the dental office can help make sure your gums stay healthy. This allows us to catch problems early and prevent them. It will also save you time and expense by preventing serious problems from growing out of small ones.