Is There a Connection Between Oral Health and Heart Disease?
Over the last several years there have been studies conducted showing that there is a correlation between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease.
How Are They Related
According to this article from Harvard Health Publishing, there are several theories as to why there could be this connection between oral health and an increased chance of heart attack or stroke.
Bacteria Infecting Gums
The bacteria that cause gingivitis and periodontitis have been found in the blood vessels that are in parts of the body not near the mouth. In other areas of the body, this bacteria causes inflammation of the blood vessels, blood clotting, and can lead to a heart attack.
The Body’s Response to Inflammation
The body responds to any bacteria or infection with inflammation and this is also considered as a triggering factor brought on by gum disease or tooth loss.
3rd Risk Factor, Such as Smoking
Another theory on the correlation between oral health and heart disease is a 3rd factor. These could be smoking, not having access to health care, and other lifestyle choices.
Poor Oral Health Affects the Entire Body
Having poor oral health affects more than just cardiovascular health. There has also been research that the same bacteria that cause gingivitis and periodontitis have been linked to pancreatic cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
Beyond overall health, keeping your teeth is a good reason to maintain good oral health
Although there is a slight correlation between tooth loss and coronary heart disease, maintaining optimal oral health and avoiding tooth loss can be incentive enough to stay on top of your routine dental appointments.
Call 717.761.0341 today to schedule an appointment.