Your oral health is vital to your whole body. You probably knew that if you don’t brush your teeth, you’re much likelier to develop gum infections. But did you know that gum disease has also been linked to heart disease? At All Coast Dental in Pacific Beach, we frequently provide deep cleanings and periodontal therapy to people at risk for heart failure, and we want them to understand why preventive care is so vital.
There are many studies showing that people with gum disease are likelier to have hypertension. Children with dental infections are also likelier to develop thickened arteries, and people who have lost teeth to infections are at greater risk for chest pains, heart attacks, and strokes. Although gum disease and heart disease share some common risk factors, such as smoking, there may also be a causal relationship. Gum disease is caused by oral bacteria secreting acid as a waste product. Inflammation is an immune system response to bacterial infection, and if oral bacteria are able to spread to other parts of the body through gum lesions, they may trigger inflammation in the circulatory system.
It is too soon to say that improved oral hygiene decreases a person’s existing risk for cardiovascular disease, but it certainly lowers their risk for gum inflammation. During deep cleanings, we remove bacterial build-up from the gum pockets, where patients can’t reach on their own. We also examine their x-rays to determine whether they have active infections deeper in their gum tissue, allowing us to intervene early.
Drs. Julie and Joseph Boulos operate All Coast Dental at 2180 Garnet Ave, Suite 1-K, Pacific Beach, California, 92109. To schedule an appointment, call 858-270-4904 or visit All Coast Dental and fill out a contact sheet.