Gum Disease and Heart Disease: What Is the Connection?

Health Education
March 24, 2022
1 min read
Gum Disease and Heart Disease: What Is the Connection?

What would a healthy heart have to do with a healthy mouth? Initially, one might think not a whole lot. As it turns, there is actually a large amount of correlation between the two. Recent dental exploration has revealed that there might be a solid link between gum disease, or periodontitis, and heart disease. Certain signs of heart disease have been shown to become more prevalent in cases of gum disease, and vice versa. Speaking from the heart, there is much to be understood about heart disease signs and their connection to gum disease.

The Heart of the Matter

Mouth health and heart health would rarely seem like a common crossroads in terms of medical health. As it turns out, there is a good deal of data that suggests a connection between gum disease and the signs of heart disease. Studies done by the CDC have yielded results that show nearly 50% of American adults aged 30 and older and 70% of those 65 and older have some stage of gum disease. With numbers like these, it’s clear how important it is to understand the impacts of gum disease and their correlation to heart disease signs. Where does the connection lie between the two? It’s more obvious than you might think.

Plaque of Honor

Believe it or not, the connection between mouth health and heart health comes from the amount of plaque and harmful bacteria associated with gum disease, or periodontitis. The bacteria and inflammation caused by gum disease can be carried through the blood vessels in the mouth through the rest of the body. This bacteria can spread throughout the body and cause virulent inflammation if the spread has become bad enough. This means that the plaque and bacteria that is caused by gum disease could potentially reach the heart via this means of travel. If this were to happen, it could lead to inflammation of heart veins with disastrous effect. 

For people already diagnosed with heart disease or showing signs of heart disease, this inflammation can only add to the problems that they are already dealing with. The plaque has actually been shown to travel through the bloodstream. Oral bacteria has been found in other areas of those diagnosed with gum disease on multiple accounts. This presence of oral bacteria in areas away from the mouth has shown to have a higher chance of occurring and causing problems for those with pre existing heart conditions. 

A common corollary symptom of those suffering from heart disease or other heart conditions is having high cholesterol. As it turns out, this is another layer that, if added to the mix, can make the risk of adverse events even greater. Researchers have found oral bacteria in the fatty deposits of those diagnosed with atherosclerosis. This is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries. If left untreated, the side effects can be severe. Neglecting these signs of heart disease and gum disease can lead to the narrowing of arteries or plaque breaking loose and clogging the arteries, causing a heart attack or stroke. 

Help is Right Around the Corner

If any of this seems pertinent or relevant to you, now is the time to open your mouth. Catching these heart disease signs early will make a world of difference. This is especially true for someone suffering from gum disease symptoms. Here at BASS Medical Group, we are here to help. With an extensive network of specialists in both gum disease and heart disease, it is easier than ever to find the best help possible. Call us at (925) 350-4044 to schedule your appointment.