Coronary heart disease occurs when fatty proteins and a substance called plaque build-up on the walls of your arteries. This causes the arteries to narrow, constricting blood flow. Oxygen is restricted from traveling to the heart which results in shortness of breath, chest pain, and even heart attack.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) has been identified as a risk factor for such conditions as heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis, perhaps through a pathway of increased systemic inflammation.

Although much more research is required to confirm the link between periodontitis and heart disease, scientists think that inflammatory proteins produced by bacteria in inflamed gums could enter the bloodstream and contribute to swelling and narrowing of the coronary blood vessels.

Another line of thought is that oral bacteria can attach to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries and contribute to clot formation, which obstructs normal blood flow to the heart and sets the stage for heart attacks and strokes.

Not many people are aware of recent research that associates heart disease (and even strokes) with poor oral hygiene. Lack of regular dental care leaves the blood low in Lipoproteins, research shows that this disorder is a leading factor in hardening of the arteries. Bad oral hygiene kills off the good part of lipoproteins (HDL & LDL) which carry proteins from one organ to another.

If the proteins aren’t absorbed by the organs then the organ will experience problems — this leads to many of the diseases, which together, can cause a heart attack. All this can be prevented by spending a little more time on brushing, flossing and making sure that our gums are healthier.

Periodontal Disease & Heart disease - Preston Dentists

How to prevent Gum Disease ( Periodontal Disease)?

While maintaining good oral hygiene will reduce your chances of getting gum disease, there are also genetic factors involved.

“Some forms [of gum disease] do run in families. So if your parents lost their teeth early and your brothers and sisters have got problems then you might also get it, “The best way to prevent gum disease is to stop the plaque getting underneath the gum first place.

You’ll reduce your chances of getting gum disease if you:

  • * Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes.
  • * Use dental floss to clean in between your teeth.
  • * Avoid smoking.
  • * Pay special attention to oral hygiene if you’re taking medications, as some increase your risk of gum disease.
  • * Have regular dental check-ups, especially if you are pregnant or have diabetes as these conditions increase your risk of gum disease.