New research shows that gum disease or periodontal disease may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease, and even heart attack.
Researchers believe that the inflammation caused by gum disease may affect the vascular system throughout the rest of the body. According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), diseased gums can aggravate and worsen existing heart conditions.
The AAP also reports that poor oral health sets people up to be twice as likely to suffer from heart conditions – and, maybe, even stroke. Findings also suggest that bacteria found in oral infections can make their way to the rest of the blood stream. Studies show that when higher concentrations of these bacteria were found in the blood, the likelihood of having arteriosclerosis increased, particularly in the carotid artery. The carotid is one of the major arteries found in the neck. Hardening of this artery leads to increased risk of suffering a stroke.
Mounting evidence suggests that there is a serious correlation between oral health and total body health. Hopefully, more research will be conducted to confirm this; in the meantime, however, common sense suggests that if you experience any sort of problem with your health, you definitely should have it treated before it spreads.