Research shows a relationship between gum disease and heart health. Although not proven yet, several studies indicate that individuals with periodontal issues have an increased risk of heart problems. Some studies also show a relationship between gum disease and stroke. Even the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) draws our attention to the relation between gum disease, heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, indicating that inflammation might be the link.
While studies are inconclusive about the direct connection between gum disease and heart health, periodontal experts agree that healthy gums contribute to good health overall. Paying attention to your teeth and gums is therefore essential at all times, especially if you have a heart condition.
Let your dentist know if you have heart disease. You will be encouraged to remain vigilant about your oral health which has a significant impact on your overall health. Your dentist might also want to speak with your physician about your condition and future treatments.
Symptoms of gum disease
The American Association of Periodontology says one must look out for these warning signs:
- Red, swollen or tender gums, or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
Watch this video to learn more about how gum disease affects heart health.
Be vigilant about gum disease. Many individuals do not realize they have a problem till it reaches advanced stages. Be sure to brush and floss properly and see your dentist for regular checkups.