by Sandi Ganshaw, RDH
Studies show that the bacteria found in periodontal disease, including streptococcus sanguis, play a role in strokes and spreads to the heart. Experts are expressing (although evidence is not conclusive) that there is a link between dental health and heart health and are saying it is important to take care of both.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect conditions throughout the body and when this happens, it’s not contained to the mouth. In heart disease, there is a theory that the bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream where they attach to the fatty deposits in the blood vessels. This can cause blood clots and may lead to heart attacks.
Sore, swollen gums are the main symptom of gum disease (gingivitis). Periodontitis is gingivitis that has advanced into the pockets and started to affect the bone which holds your teeth in place. This is a cause for concern as the bacteria and other toxins have made their way below the gum line.
Your gums are very vascular, meaning they are full of blood vessels. Your mouth is full of bacteria. So, when the bacteria enter the bloodstream (which travels through all parts of the body), this triggers inflammation throughout the body.
While it is true that people with poor oral health have more heart attacks, there could also be several reasons for it. People with good oral hygiene might just be better overall at taking care of themselves, eating properly, exercising and getting enough sleep.