Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Although researchers have not yet identified the correlation between the two potentially serious conditions, several studies have linked periodontal disease with heart disease. According to these studies, the presence of periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.
Some theories point to the inflammation caused by periodontal disease as the cause of this increased risk. Other studies point to the bacteria associated with periodontal disease, which can increase the risk for infective endocarditis. Patients who are at an increased risk of endocarditis or heart disease may need special care or antibiotics before undergoing certain dental procedures.
According to other studies, periodontal disease can also increase the risk of stroke. One study evaluated patients with acute cerebrovascular ischemia and determined that they were more likely to suffer from periodontal disease than the control group was.
Patients can reduce their risk of periodontal disease and related infections by practicing good dental hygiene. Brushing after meals and flossing daily can help control the development of plaque, this tends to harbor dangerous oral bacteria. Visiting our dentist regularly can also help you keep your gums healthy. Professional cleanings can remove plaque where you cannot, and our dentist can examine your gums for signs of infection. Although the ADA recommends biannual checkups, those with heart disease or who are at high risk for heart disease may need more frequent dental visits.