Gum Disease & Heart Disease

Gum DiseaseLinks Between Gum Disease & Heart Disease

If you are experiencing red, swollen or bleeding gums, it may be more important than ever to schedule a dental checkup and cleaning with Dr. Carol Jin, D.D.S. in San Ramon, California. Dr. Jin is well-qualified to diagnose your condition and prescribe the proper treatment so that you can avoid the very serious consequences of gum disease, among which may even be heart attack and stroke.

Is Gum Disease Connected To Heart Disease?

In the past, it was strongly suspected that gum disease and heart disease were connected, although the exact mechanism of the link was unknown. However, very recent research published in the journal Infection and Immunity clarifies this mechanism. The bacterium p. gingivalis is common to both conditions with genetic changes that increase the inflammation of heart disease. While gum disease is progressive if left untreated, early diagnosis and treatment can stop it in its tracks and avoid this very serious risk. If you are experiencing one or all of the following symptoms, you should seek treatment with Dr. Jin immediately to protect your heart and your overall health:

  • Red or Swollen Gums
  • Bleeding after Flossing or Brushing
  • Receding Gums
  • Painful Biting or Chewing
  • Looseness of Teeth

Gingivitis and Heart Disease

While gingivitis is considered an early stage of gum disease with very mild symptoms, it causes the buildup of bacteria between your gum and your tooth. In light of recent research, it may be even more critical to not only improve your dental hygiene, but also to aggressively treat the condition in order to avoid having the bacteria build up in your gums. Early intervention is necessary to prevent its development into a more serious stage of gum disease called periodontitis. In periodontitis, the pockets of infection are deeper and the bacteria release their toxins into your gums and subsequently into your bloodstream, eventually reaching your heart.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

While gum disease may play a major role in the development of heart disease, other well-known risk factors are also at play, such as diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and even genetics. Smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise are also strong contributors to a heart condition.

Preventing Heart Disease

There are a number of positive steps you can take to protect your heart and prevent the development of heart disease.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings with Dr. Jin’s office every six months or more frequently if necessary to treat any diagnosed gum disease.
  • Stop smoking!
  • Eat a healthy diet, avoiding excessive sugar.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise at least five days a week.
  • Control and treat your diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

A healthy mouth equals a healthy heart, so contact Dr. Carol Jin’s office today to schedule a checkup and cleaning and set up a regular dental maintenance program.