Guess what? Your oral health and gums are interconnected in an astounding manner. Yes, it's possible to reduce the risk of developing heart conditions by simply maintaining a perfect condition of your teeth and gums. This is an area of dental industry that has been going on for quite a while now, and doctors and dentists are becoming more and more convinced that the relationship is solid. If you want to know how far this interplay goes and what signs to look out for, then read on.
What causes a heart attack?
The well-known and proven cause of heart attacks is inflammation of the coronary artery. This leads to the formation of a clot, and the result is a heart attack. But what causes the inflammation in the first place?
The link between the heart and mouth
Research studies have shown that people with periodontal disease have a higher probability of contracting heart diseases than those with healthy gums. Actually, periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums, and this usually releases the oral bacteria and plaque into the bloodstream where it builds up. This is what causes the inflammation of the arteries and increases the chances of a stroke or heart attack. A common bacteria, Streptococcus sanguis, is known to cause strokes and is commonly found in the mouth during periodontal infections.
In addition, these oral bacteria could also release toxins into the blood stream that resemble the proteins found in the blood. The immune system may try to fight back and cause the blood to clot. Formation of clots consequently decreases the blood flow to the heart and in turn raises the blood pressure. This also increases the risk of a stroke.
Another connection is that most of these gum diseases have similar risk factors for heart diseases. These include diabetes and use of tobacco. Moreover, most of the heart diseases have got oral symptoms and treatment of these oral infections reduces the blood pressure.
Top 2 warning signs to look out for
Bad breath: If you've got a persistent bad breath, then that's a major sign or a gum disease cropping up. It's simply caused by the smelly gasses that the bacteria in your mouth release. A bad taste in your mouth follows afterwards.
Tender or bleeding gums: Bleeding gums normally result when the bacteria in the gums form plaque. The plaque causes an inflammation and makes the gums red and swollen, and they easily bleed when disturbed.