There is a theory that there is a direct link between dental health and heart health. This was a profound discovery that had many people reporting more diligently to their dentists’ chairs. It is important to understand this link and how your dental hygiene can impact your overall wellbeing.
In addition to the cavities that occur when the bacteria in the mouth is not moderated with good dental hygiene habits, that bacterial growth can also lead to infections in the gum. This begins as gingivitis and can then become gum disease. The bacteria then have a direct path to the blood stream and can ultimately make its way to the heart.
Any damaged area within the heart or nearby vessels will be susceptible to the bacteria originating in the mouth. This can result in serious infection and inflammation. If the inner lining of the heart is impacted, it can lead to endocarditis. If not promptly recognized and treated, this can cause permanent damage or even destruction of the heart valves. It is potentially life-threatening. The inflammation in vessels resulting from bacteria may cause atherosclerosis (artery blockage) and stroke.
The presence of moderate to severe gum disease can greatly increase the risk of heart disease and other serious vascular conditions. Therefore, it is essential that you follow a proper dental hygiene plan. Your teeth are not all that you stand to lose if you fail to do so.