Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the gums become inflamed due to the buildup of bacteria and plaque, which can lead to gum recession and eventually tooth loss. But did you know that periodontal disease can also have an impact on your heart health?
Research has shown that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, including the heart. Once there, they can cause inflammation and damage to the blood vessels, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
In fact, studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop heart disease than those with healthy gums. The risk is even higher for those who also have other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoking.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your oral and heart health. Regular brushing and flossing can help prevent periodontal disease, while a healthy diet and regular exercise can help reduce your risk of heart disease. It’s also important to schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings to catch any signs of gum disease early and treat them before they become more serious.
If you have periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings, special mouth rinses, or even antibiotics to help control the infection. In more advanced cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage done to the gums and teeth.
Remember, taking care of your oral health is important not only for your teeth and gums, but for your overall health as well. If you have concerns about your oral health or the link between periodontal disease and heart health, talk to your dentist or healthcare provider.