How these diseases are related?
Both periodontitis and cardiovascular disease are common, widespread, chronic non-communicable diseases, whose prevalence increases with age. There is scientific evidence of an association between the two forms of the disease, and periodontitis is associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke.
There are common lifestyle factors that exacerbate both periodontitis and cardiovascular disease – such as smoking, stress, obesity, diabetes and unhealthy diet.
Oral health and heart disease are linked to the spread of bacteria and other microbes from the mouth to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. When bacteria reach the heart, they can infect the affected area and cause inflammation. The result of such an infection are diseases such as endocarditis, ie infection of the inner lining of the heart.
Gum disease can be associated with certain heart diseases. Overall data show that chronic gum disease may contribute to the development of heart disease which is the leading cause of death in men and women.
How does this happen?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect conditions outside the mouth. In heart disease, one theory is that gum disease can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream where they attach to fatty deposits in the blood vessels of the heart. This condition can cause blood clots and can lead to heart attacks. So make sure you brush your teeth properly and visit the dentist regularly.
If you have certain heart diseases, there is a risk of developing bacterial endocarditis – an infection of the lining of the heart or valves. Whenever bleeding occurs in the mouth, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and can settle on abnormal heart valves or tissues weakened by an existing heart problem or heart condition. In these cases, the infection can damage or even destroy the heart valves or tissue.
“Oral health is a window into your overall health”
MEASURES FOR THE PREVENTION OF GUM DISEASE
Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are the best way to protect yourself from developing periodontitis and heart disease. By taking care of your oral health, you can protect yourself from developing a link between oral health and heart disease, and keep your smile healthy, clean and beautiful throughout your life.
Did you know that your oral health offers indications of your overall health or that mouth problems can affect the rest of your body? Protect yourself by learning more about the connection between oral and overall health.
What is the relationship between oral health and overall health?
As with other parts of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria that are mostly harmless. But your mouth is the entry point into the digestive and airways, and some of these bacteria can cause disease.
Usually the body’s natural defenses and good oral hygiene, such as daily brushing and cleaning with an interdental brush, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that could lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease, and later to periodontitis and cardiovascular disease. Although the link is not fully understood, some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke could be linked to inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
How can I protect my oral health?
To protect your oral health, maintain good oral hygiene on a daily basis.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush using fluoride toothpaste, use an interdental brush and mouthwash.
Replace the toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles crack or wear out.
Schedule regular dental checkups.
Also, consult a dentist as soon as an oral health problem occurs.
Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.