The Hidden Links Between Gum Disease And Heart Problems

The mouth and heart are more closely linked than you’d think. In today’s post, our expert dentists based in Derby explain more about the connection between gum disease and heart problems, how it could affect your oral and physical health, and what to do if you’re concerned.

A hidden link, unveiled

Scientists have discovered that bacteria found in cases of gum disease – where the gum recedes and infection can strike in the mouth – can actually infiltrate other areas of the body. While this might not sound like anything to worry about, in the worst case scenario, it could lead to inflammation and infection in the heart – a long way from the mouth, and one of the most important organs in the body.

But, it’s not just that, that’s a problem. High cholesterol – a condition where fat builds up in the arteries – has been known to contain oral bacteria. Any cholesterol present can dislodge or block the arteries, potentially leading to stroke, heart attack or even death.

Preventing problems

A good standard of oral care is important not just for the appearance of your smile, but for the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, and even other areas of the body, like the heart. We’d recommend:

  • Investing in a decent toothbrush, preferably electric, and high-fluoride toothpaste (check the label for a fluoride content of 1350 to 1550ppm).
  • Brushing and flossing twice daily, two minutes a time (such as after breakfast and the evening meal). Alternatively, you can use dental tape or interdental brushes instead of floss
  • Using an alcohol-free mouthwash between brushes for extra freshness and fluoride content
  • Attending regular dental check-ups, as directed by your dentist

Diet and lifestyle

Like many things, diet and lifestyle play a huge part in your overall health, as well as that of your mouth, teeth and gums. For example, certain foods and drinks, and lifestyle activities, can affect their health:

  • Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can attack tooth enamel and cause a build-up of bacteria and therefore plaque
  • Exercise has been linked to oral health benefits, such as combatting inflammation
  • Smoking and vaping have also been linked to gum disease, as well as other oral concerns such as mouth cancer

Getting advice on gum disease

We can all do with a helping hand when it comes to our oral health. Luckily, our dental team in Derby can advise you on everything from brushing technique to when it’s time for a check-up. Contact our friendly receptionists to arrange a consultation and start prioritising your mouth – and heart health – today.