Think bleeding gums are a minor problem? Think again. Plenty of studies suggest that there is a strong link between gum disease and heart disease. Gum disease, which Greenville dentists refer to as periodontitis, is when gums become infected by bacteria that leads to swollen, bleeding gums and eventual tooth loss. The same bacteria that destroys your gums and teeth can attack your heart.
How does this happen, you may ask?
Gum disease happens in the mouth, which has more to do with the liver and stomach than the heart. So how can the heart get affected? The idea is that if left untreated, the bacteria that causes gum disease will soon find its way in the bloodstream where they have a great chance of attaching to the fatty deposits in the heart’s blood vessels and deal significant damage.
The resulting inflammation from gum disease can also contribute to heart disease. This is because people who suffer from the former have more inflammation in their bodies, and there’s evidence that increased inflammation contributes to higher risk for stroke and heart attacks.
Causes of gum disease
Now that the link between gum disease and heart disease is established, it pays to know what causes gum disease. Often, it all boils to lifestyle choices. For instance, individuals who are lazy in taking care of their teeth may also be taking less care of themselves in other aspects of their lives, such as not eating right and not exercising. Both increase the risk of heart disease.
Impacted teeth can also lead to gum disease. Wisdom teeth are often impacted because the mouth doesn’t have enough space to accommodate them. When an impacted wisdom tooth tries to erupt, the flap of the gum can become swollen and infected. If untreated, this infection can spread to other parts of the body, including the heart.
For sure, not paying attention to your oral health makes it difficult for you to stay healthy overall. People who suffer from advanced gum disease will often require tooth extraction. When you lose your teeth, it can be hard for you to properly digest the nutritious foods that keep you healthy.
To prevent gum disease and stay on top of your overall health, brush your teeth thoroughly two times a day, floss daily, eat well, and see your Greenville dentists for professional cleanings, checkups, and wisdom teeth removal if necessary.
Healthy Teeth, Healthy Heart?, WebMD
Heart Disease And Gum Disease, Colgate.com