Abacus Dental Care, 52 Lennon Drive, Milton Keynes, MK8 0AS

The link between gum disease and heart disease

The link between gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, and heart disease has been the subject of scientific research for many years. While the exact nature of the relationship is not fully understood, several studies suggest a potential association between the two conditions. Here’s an overview of the current understanding:

Inflammation: Both gum disease and heart disease involve chronic inflammation. In gum disease, bacteria in the mouth cause an inflammatory response that can lead to the breakdown of gum tissues and bone supporting the teeth. In heart disease, chronic inflammation contributes to the development of atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries), which can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Bacteria and toxins: The bacteria associated with gum disease can enter the bloodstream through infected gum tissues. These bacteria and the toxins they produce may contribute to the development or progression of atherosclerosis. They can also trigger an inflammatory response in the blood vessels, potentially increasing the risk of blood clot formation or narrowing of the arteries.

Shared risk factors: Gum disease and heart disease share common risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, obesity, and poor oral hygiene. These risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing both conditions. It’s important to note that the presence of gum disease does not directly cause heart disease, but it may contribute to an increased risk.

Research findings: Several studies have found associations between gum disease and heart disease. For example, a 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis of available research concluded that periodontal disease was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, it’s important to note that the evidence is not conclusive, and further research is needed to establish a causal relationship.

Given these observations, maintaining good oral hygiene, including regular brushing, and flossing, along with routine dental check-ups, is important not just for oral health but also for potential cardiovascular benefits.

If you have concerns about gum disease or heart disease, it is advisable to consult with both a dentist and a medical professional for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate advice.

To book your routine examination appointment today call us on 01908 260757 to speak to a member of our team.

Back to Blog

Get in touch

Abacus Dental - Logo

52 Lennon Drive, Milton Keynes, MK8 0AS

Facebook Instragram Twitter

Ask us a question