Scientists and researchers have performed numerous studies that have indicated that there might be a link between poor gum health and higher risk of cardiovascular disease in patients. Scientists have a few different theories as to why these two diseases might be linked.
The first theory states that oral health is a good indication of overall health; if a patient takes care of his or her teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, then chances are, he or she is exercising and eating right, doing all the right things to prevent heart disease.
Other researchers believe that the bacteria that live in infected gums can move from the gums into the bloodstream, which could ultimately cause problems in blood vessels by contributing to clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart, which causes higher blood pressure, leading to increased risk of heart attack.
In a recent study performed by Uppsala University in Sweden, scientists and researchers confirmed a link between poor oral health and heart disease. The study surveyed almost 16,000 people from 39 countries who were known to have heart disease for a period of four years. At the conclusion of the study, scientists and researchers concluded that the fewer teeth a person had, the more likely they were to suffer from a fatal heart attack or stroke.
Gum disease affects 80% of Americans, and oftentimes, the condition goes undiagnosed. If your family has a history of heart disease, make sure you take especially good care of your teeth and gums.