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The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Health

 The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Health

Abraham Nobel, DDS, MPH, and the team at Nobel Dentistry in Los Angeles, California, are raising awareness of the important link between gum disease and heart health so that patients feel empowered to prioritize their health. 

Attending twice yearly visits with your dentist reduces the chances of developing gum disease. Checkups allow your dentist to detect potential problems before they develop or at their earliest stages.  

Roughly half of adults age 30 and over have some periodontal disease. Periodontal disease damages the bone that supports your teeth and leads to tooth loss and other problems if left untreated. It also threatens your heart health. Let’s dive into what to know about the link between gum disease and your heart. 

Gum disease 101

Your mouth is home to over 700 different microbes, including various types of bacteria. Though many of these microbes are “good guys” that keep your mouth healthy, some are harmful and threaten oral health, causing cavities and gum disease.

Each day bacteria in your mouth form a sticky film on your teeth and gums called plaque. Regular brushing and flossing remove this plaque, and that’s why it’s crucial to practice good daily oral hygiene.

If not removed fast enough, plaque can turn into tartar — a hard substance that can’t be removed by your toothbrush, special toothpaste, or dental floss. Tartar traps bacteria under your gums and on your teeth, where it can cause damage. The trapped bacteria multiply, triggering inflammation and infection.

Gum disease and your heart

Many patients are shocked to learn that gum disease can affect their heart health if left untreated. The bacteria that cause gum disease isn’t limited to your mouth. Harmful bacteria can enter the bloodstream, triggering inflammation in your blood vessels. Inflammation is at the heart of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Untreated gum disease can pave the way for heart disease. 

According to a study published in Vascular Health and Risk Management, you’re twice as likely to have a stroke with gum disease.

Addressing gum disease

You’re gambling with your health when you don’t address gum disease. Fortunately, gum disease is treatable. Root planing and scaling, a form of deep cleaning, is a mainstay in treating periodontal disease. 

Dr. Nobel also performs pocket reduction surgery, which cleans your tooth roots and recontours the bone. 

Though we have many effective tools to treat gum disease, prevention is the best way to keep your mouth and heart healthy. We recommend routine dental cleanings to eliminate tartar buildup and keep your gums healthy. 

Make your oral and heart health a top priority. Don’t put off regular checkups, and see a dentist as soon as possible if you have signs of gum disease, such as swollen, sore, or bleeding gums. To schedule a visit with Dr. Nobel at our Los Angeles office, give us a call and speak to one of our helpful team members.

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