Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)
According to an article in USA Today, studies have found that the incidence of heart disease is about twice as high in people with periodontal (gum) disease. This link has been evident for years, but now we know the reason. We probably don’t need to tell you that heart disease is the number one killer in America.
When food particles are not properly cleaned off your teeth with brushing and flossing, overtime it turns to plaque then to infectious Bacteria. The Bacteria becomes solid as the minerals from your saliva mix with the bacteria and mineralize on your teeth. Your gums want to live in a clean environment and tend to pull down and away from these formations on our teeth, giving the appearance of longer teeth. This is how the process of receding gums begin. First the gums pull away from the tooth forming a gum pocket, then the bacteria emits acids which tend to destroy the bone that anchors our teeth causing them to become loose and eventually fall out.
There are thousands of arteries and blood vessels in our gums. Bacteria easily enter our bloodstream through these vessels. Studies now indicate that the most common strain of bacteria found in dental plaque may cause blood clots. When a blood clot breaks loose and escapes into the blood stream, it could cause a heart attack or stroke. Also, chronic inflammation of the gums, as seen in gingivitis and periodontitis, could be involved in the inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels, leading to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Dental plaque could very well yield arterial plaque.