The Truth: Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease
By Steven on Monday, June 18th, 2018 in Dental Facts.
It’s strange to consider how your oral hygiene is related to a healthy heart. It just doesn’t sound right, does it? The link between gum disease and heart disease is real, there is almost no denying it, but the real question is this: does gum disease CAUSE heart disease? Now that is much more difficult to answer.
The “Myth” – Gum Disease Linked to Heart Disease
Some people believe that there is a link between gum disease and heart disease, but they believe the link is not CAUSAL. It’s something that mathematicians call a “spurious correlation,” meaning they are related and linked but not directly. Instead, these two diseases are linked because they share a common factor.
They believe that people who take very good care of their gums will also take care of their heart. Conversely, people who neglect oral hygiene are likely to neglect heart health as well, for whatever reason that may be.
These experts believe that there is no CAUSAL link between gum disease and heart disease. They think that the link between gum disease and heart disease has more to do with the individual person’s lifestyle and choices.
However, this is still not universally agreed to be the truth…
The Truth About Gum Disease and Heart Disease
The link is real, and according to the National Institutes of Health, patients who have gum disease are more likely to have heart disease.
The same bacteria that exists in the mouth of a patients with gum disease can travel into that person’s blood and find its way to the fatty areas of that person’s heart. These bacteria can also clog your veins and cause even more long-term issues.
Inflammation and swelling is your body’s natural reaction to infection, so an infected tooth can cause you to ingest bacteria which will in turn cause your body to swell in other areas, including your heart.
More dental experts and heart experts agree that this is the DIRECT link between gum disease and heart disease. This is universally accepted as the CAUSAL link between your gum health and heart health.
The link between bad teeth and heart disease is real, but the casual relationship is still debatable. No matter what, taking care of your gums is a good thing, and you should consider it no matter what.
If you think you may have gum disease, but you are afraid of the dentist, consider sedation dentistry as a means to get your oral health back into order. It’s important to get regular dental exams and teeth cleaning as well.