Taking care of your teeth and mouth is more important than ever. Why? More and more studies point to the fact that oral health—specifically gum health–is directly correlated to your overall health and how your heart maintains your well-being. Maintaining strong, healthy, pink gums may reduce your chances of developing a life-threatening condition like heart disease. But in the same breath, the opposite is true—bad oral health could increase your risk of suffering from problems like a heart attack or even a stroke.
Thankfully, your dentist in Virginia Beach is here to explain this important connection between gum health and heart health in this week’s blog post.
What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal is a combination of two words, perio for around and odont for tooth. So, when discussing periodontal disease, you know that we’re talking about a condition that surrounds your tooth—the gums. Gum disease occurs when the hard or soft tissues surrounding teeth are infected, inflamed, or otherwise damaged from overwhelming plaque and dental bacteria buildup. In most cases, gum disease is a direct result of poor oral hygiene, although genetics and other factors could contribute towards it’s development.
What is Cardiovascular (Heart) Disease?
Cardiovascular disease, commonly known as heart disease, can describe a wide range of physiological responses including elevated blood pressure, tissue inflammation, heart valve blockage, increased cholesterol, and many other bodily problems. Many patients have high chances of developing the disease because of a repeated family history, although there are many ways to prevent it with great overall care and excellent oral hygiene practices.
How Are These Conditions Connected?
The overlap from these two conditions come from the inflammation that’s associated with both diseases. When you develop gum disease, your gums can become inflamed and even cause gum recession. After your gums recede, the plaque and dental bacteria that is in your mouth can easily enter the blood stream through those holes in your smile and eventually cause plaque buildup in the arteries.
What’s equally as threatening is that the same bacteria and infectious materials can also enter the bloodstream and even enter the brain, increasing your chances of having a stroke.
If you suffer from gum disease, it’s essential to seek restorative treatment right away. Without the necessary periodontal therapies, your gum disease will likely get much worse. This is especially important, if you suffer from heart disease or have a history of cardiovascular illness in your family.
About Our Office
Call a dentist in Virginia Beach from your local practice to schedule an appointment here at Esparza Family Dentistry. We offer the widest range of treatments for gum disease, and our skilled professionals have years of experiencing working with patients to improve their oral and overall health simultaneously.