Periodontal Disease, Heart Disease and Stroke

Gum Disease Kaysville, UT

Periodontal disease, heart disease and stroke may not appear related, but researchers have discovered that patients of gum diseases are at a higher risk of suffering from coronary heart disease. Additionally, multiple studies have found that dental infections create a potential risk for stroke. There is also a chance that people suffering from acute cerebrovascular ischemia can experience a form of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a condition caused by the invasion of the gingival tissue around the teeth by bacteria colonies. The bacteria that binds to plaques first create a colony, then spread to the gum line, causing the tissue to retract from the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease can cause the formation of deep pockets between the teeth and the gum and destroy the tissues of the jawbone beneath. Damages to the bone tissues will make the teeth move, loosen or be removed entirely from the bone.

Coronary heart disease happens when the passages of the coronary arteries become gradually narrower due to the accumulation of fatty proteins. This event shortens the supply of oxygen to the heart and makes it remarkably harder to pump blood to other areas of the body. Patients suffering from coronary heart disease deal with blood clots, which inhibits the regular flow of blood and lessens the level of crucial nutrients and oxygen required by the heart from normal functions. This situation is usually responsible for heart attacks.

The line that connects the dots

There is substantial evidence that gum disease can complicate existing heart diseases. The periodontist and the cardiologist have to work collaboratively to help patients dealing with the two conditions.

Many postulations exist to explain the association between stroke, heart disease and periodontal disease. They include:

Oral bacteria affecting the heart — Periodontal bacteria have different strains. Scientists believe that some of these bacteria strains invade the bloodstream and bind to the fatty plaques present in the heart’s blood vessels (coronary arteries). This binding aids the formation of clots, thus jeopardizing the person’s life.

Inflammation — Severe inflammation is one of the effects of periodontal disease and increases white blood cell count and highly sensitive C-reactive proteins. Studies have revealed that increased levels of C-reactive proteins are connected to heart disease.

Infectious susceptibility — Persons dealing with an exceptionally high amount of oral bacteria may have more vulnerable immune systems and insufficient host inflammatory reactions. These factors may cause certain vascular effects that have been known to aid in the onset of some forms of a heart condition.

Diagnosis and treatment

With a periodontal disease as a potential threat for stroke and heart attack, it is critical to seek medical attention immediately. First, the periodontist will perform comprehensive examinations to determine the state of the teeth, jawbone and gums. X-ray scans may aid in detecting the prevalence and location of bone low in the upper and lower jaw.

The dentist will perform in-depth cleaning procedures, including scaling and root planing to eliminate hardened plaque (tartar) deposits from the gum pockets. The dental expert may prescribe an antibiotic to destroy any leftover bacteria and prevent the spread of periodontal infection. In most situations, it is possible to avoid periodontal disease with excellent oral hygiene and regular cleanings.

Request an appointment here: or call Kaysville Family Dentistry at (801) 546-2439 for an appointment in our Kaysville office.

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