Heart Disease and Oral Health

The connection between the incidence and/or severity of cardiovascular disease and your oral health is important to recognize in order to maintain and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that patients with early and persistent periodontal disease have a significantly increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke as harmful bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream.

Sandy Springs dentist Dr. Radha Patel works with patients to understand their unique health concerns, make personalized oral hygiene recommendations and identify their risk factors based on lifestyle habits and medical history. During routine dental visits, patients are screened for gum disease, oral cancer, and signs of dental problems that may impact both oral and overall health and well-being. Visiting the dentist is important for many reasons as we continue to understand the “mouth-body” connection and how poor oral health can detrimentally affect the quality of life.

Healthy Gums & A Healthy Heart

Periodontal disease is often a leading risk factor for patients with existing heart disease and can increase the risk of developing heart disease in otherwise healthy patients. For those with diabetes, poor nutrition, or who use tobacco, the risk of a stroke or heart attack is also significantly increased by periodontal disease.

Restoring and maintaining healthy gums will not only reduce the risk of a major health event such as a heart attack, but it can also improve your overall health.

One of the first signs of gum disease is frequently bleeding gums. When the gums bleed during daily brushing or flossing it enables harmful bacteria to be released into the bloodstream and to be carried around the body. Dr. Paulen offers periodontal therapy to address the various stages of gum disease and restore a healthy smile. Other common signs of gum disease include:

  • Red, swollen or irritated gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Persistent bad breath

Bleeding gums linked to heart disease .pdf