Gum Disease: Can It Cause Heart Problems?

Does having healthy teeth equal having a healthy heart? According to research, there is a correlation between gum disease and the heart.

According to a study, gum disease may increase the risk of having cardiovascular problems by 20%. Other research has also pointed out that some patients who had periodontal treatment had lower cardiovascular medical costs. A recent study of one million people showed that there is a moderate connection between oral health and heart disease. These  studies indicated that gum health is associated with heart problems. However, a direct cause and effect have yet to be proven and the threads of evidence are still considered circumstantial.

Experts believed one of the main reasons behind the connection of gum disease and heart disease is inflammation. Inflammation is one of the classic signs of gum disease. We see this through swollen gums and it occurs in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a disease that underlies, heart disease, such as stroke and peripheral artery disease. CRP, a protein that increases when there is inflammation is also clearly present in both heart and gum disease.

While more research is needed to prove the direct link between heart disease and gum disease, we recommend that you take care of your gums, teeth, oral cavity and your heart to maintain your overall health. Remember that taking care of one part of your body does not mean you will prevent other health problems from occurring.

To learn more about gum disease and other problems associated with it, contact or visit us at the ToothMatters Dental Care office in Richmond Hill.

-Dr. Gao