How Strong is the Connection between Gingivitis and Heart Disease

A tooth holding a cartoon red heart. Recent studies by dental health professionals and researchers are finding a much more compelling reason to brush your teeth and floss. Beyond a potential toothache, bleeding gums, and bad breath, poor dental hygiene can lead to losing your life.

Until recently the lack of good oral health was only regarded as affecting your teeth and gums like cavities, toothaches, root canals and bad breath. However, studies now show that there may be a strong connection between not brushing and flossing regularly and coronary heart disease.

Not brushing often enough or correctly plus lack of flossing creates plaque buildup. Plaque buildup can result in gingivitis, which causes the gums to become red and swollen. Left untreated, gingivitis leads to periodontal disease, an infection in the gums and tooth socket. When that infection occurs, the effect of the bacteria and the toxins built up in the mouth can have more far reaching effects on the body than losing your teeth. It can manifest in dramatic results by affecting the whole body including the heart.

Research done at the Mayo Clinic and NIH (National Institute of Health) shows that poor dental hygiene and gingivitis can cause an infection to spread to other organs like the heart. That is particularly significant for those whose heart is already compromised. The infection can flow out of the mouth to the heart, causing or worsening coronary heart disease.

Researchers urge patients to do the simplest things like brush twice daily and floss once daily. This plus having regular dental checkups, including cleaning and scraping if necessary to ward off gingivitis is the easiest and cheapest way to save your life. Just practicing good oral hygiene will avoid gingivitis and can save you from coronary heart disease and a heart attack.

If you are suffering from gingivitis, please contact us our doctors can help you today!