Can Tooth Decay Really Cause Heart Problems?

In the past years, the medical community has been adamant in finding out if there is a correlation between having gum disease and a cardiovascular issue. Recent studies have found out that people with poor oral health (like having tooth decay) are more likely to develop heart-related problems. This is why dentists in Arlington Virginia recommend patients to always observe proper dental hygiene.

Theories Relating Gum and Heart Diseases

There are different theories that correlate gum and heart diseases.

The most popular one is that the same bacteria that cause gum diseases can reach and affect other parts of the body by traveling through the bloodstream — the other parts include the cardiovascular system. These bacteria can lead to blood vessel inflammation, blood clots, and even heart attack. As a matter of fact, there were researchers who found traces of oral bacteria in blood vessels near the heart.

In another theory, cardiovascular damage has been attributed to the body’s immune response to the gum disease. The response, which comes in the form of inflammation, can prompt heart health concerns among others (it can even damage the brain).

Medical experts also look into the possibility of a third favor causing the existence of both gum and cardiovascular diseases. Dentists in Arlington Virginia cite lifestyle habits like smoking as a risk factor for the said conditions.

Dental Conditions That Might Be Linked to Heart Disease

Though there is no solid evidence that the following dental conditions are directly related to your cardiovascular health, experts in the field do not discount their significant relatability to one another.

Cavities. Once you develop tooth decay, it will leave tiny holes in your teeth called cavities. The bacteria that caused the decay in your teeth can lead to more grave situations like gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis. Considered an early stage of gum disease, this condition happens when there has been a significant buildup of bacteria between your teeth and your gums. Symptoms of this disease include swelling and bleeding.

Periodontitis. When the infection caused by the bacteria between your teeth and gums have escalated, the condition is now referred to as periodontitis. The bacteria give out toxins that bring damage to surrounding tissues and pockets. It can even lead to damage to the jaw bone like jawline recession.

Pericoronitis. If you have wisdom teeth and they’ve been partly pushed up through your gums, there’s a high chance that it will create an opening under a flap of your gum under your teeth. This condition is called pericoronitis, which can further be characterized by swelling and sharp pain. This disease can be too severe that it can even infect your neck and cheeks.

If you ask any dentists in Arlington Virginia, it’s a must to observe proper oral hygiene to prevent having gum diseases — whether or not these diseases are leaving a negative impact on your heart health. Make it a habit to brush and floss regularly and keep a healthy lifestyle. You should also regularly visit a dental clinic to have your teeth checked and cleaned.

Arlington Advanced Dental Care has a team of the best dentists in Arlington Virginia. If you are looking for experts who can bring your perfect smile back, contact us today.