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Does Gum Disease Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease?

Does Gum Disease Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease?

As one of the most common dental problems among adults in the United States, gum disease can harm more than just your mouth. You might be surprised just how much of an impact it can have on your heart. Since February is American Heart Association Month and Gum Disease Awareness Month, let us spend some time listening to a local dentist who can answer the question, “Does gum disease increase your risk of heart disease?” He will provide helpful insight into the connection between your gums and heart and what you can do to keep them safe from disease.

Your Gums and Heart: The Link That Connects the Two

If you are unaware of the dangers that come with gum disease, it often occurs in stages. First, this bacterial infection attacks your soft oral tissues and causes redness, inflammation, and bleeding when brushing and flossing your teeth. Known as gingivitis, this is considered the early stage of gum disease and can be easily reversed with regular cleanings and good oral health habits practiced at home.

However, if gingivitis is left untreated, it can rapidly escalate into periodontitis, which is a more aggressive and advanced form of gum disease that attacks the jawbone. As a result, the symptoms worsen and the possibility of bone and tooth loss increases. It is also during this stage that infection and inflammation can enter the bloodstream and travel to various areas of the body, one of which includes the heart.

Should this happen, the swelling of your gums and the bacterial growth can cause important arteries to narrow, resulting in serious cardiovascular problems, including heart attack and stroke.

Preventive Tips for Better Oral and Heart Health

To prevent gum disease and protect your heart, there are a few things you can do, such as:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to combat decay and strengthen tooth enamel
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash
  • Keep your regularly scheduled dental checkups and cleanings (twice a year)
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid eating too much sugar, as this can create bacteria in the mouth and lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities

If your dentist in Marysville sees that early stages of gum disease are developing, make sure you stay on top of your oral hygiene routine to reverse the symptoms. While periodontal therapy is available for more advanced stages, it is always best to prevent the need for treatment, if possible.

About the Author

Dr. Michael Giovine is a dentist in Marysville, WA, who attended Western Washington University in Bellingham before later going on to the Oregon Health and Science University where he earned his doctorate. As one of three dentists at Allen Creek Family Dentistry, he and his colleagues are devoted to helping patients improve their oral and overall health. Because of the close connection between the mouth and body, he and his team are proud to provide preventive care and periodontal therapy for individuals suffering from gum disease. Contact us via our website or by calling (360) 651-2900 to learn more about how we can help you get your oral health back on track.

Location

6618 64th St. NE, Suite C, Marysville, WA 98270

Office Hours

MON 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

TUE 9:00 am - 7:00 pm

WED 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

THU 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

FRI 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (360) 651-2900