The Hidden Link Between Heart Issues & Your Oral Health

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The teeth are an important but neglected organ in the body. “Tooth is decaying? No issues, you have so many others.”, “Tooth is aching? Get it removed. Simple!”. But did you know, that as much as the oral cavity is a gateway to nutrition,  it is also a gateway to diseases, including heart issues? What is in the mouth, definitely doesn’t stay in the mouth.” What if we tell you, that the teeth problems you are ignoring right now can even lead to you developing heart issues? Don’t believe it? Read down and get to know how your poor oral health can cost your heart too.


How Can Your Oral Health be Related to Your Heart?

Dental and periodontal diseases have been known to be a cofactor of several systemic disorders or as a manifestation of the same.  However, oral diseases can be an etiological reason for some systemic diseases including cardiovascular disease.  Let us understand the process.


How Can the Bacteria from Your Gums Reach Your Heart?

why does oral health matterPeriodontal diseases are the most severe range of dental problems related to gums and periodontal tissues. Periodontal diseases such as periodontitis are caused by bacteria entering the tissue through plaque accumulated due to poor oral hygiene eventually leading to tooth loss. 

Even cases of dental cavities will eventually progress to the soft tissues and become periodontal diseases. These bacteria penetrate deep within the tissue and are closely situated to the damaged tissue and its blood vessels. They can enter these blood vessels which will lead them to the heart causing a variety of issues. Known cases of such occurrence have seen inflammation, blood clotting etc. in the heart and its vessels.


What Kinds of Heart Issues Can Poor Oral Health Cause?

how to avoid heart attack1) Atherosclerosis: The deposition of plaque along the inner walls of the arteries has been observed in some cases which leads to the hardening of the arteries. In cases of periodontitis-related events, the bacteria can get deposited restricting the blood flow and causing an inflammatory reaction. 

2) Bacteria Growing in the Inner Lining of the Arteries: This will lead to obstruction in the blood flow causing the heart valves to function abnormally thus,  leading to the risk of cardiac disorders. 

3) Existing Heart Problems can Worsen Due to Periodontal Diseases: It increases the risk of potential cardiac arrest. Instances of death by cardiac diseases occurring secondary to periodontal diseases are low but not zero. Diabetes, another common systemic illness closely associated with cardiac diseases, observes periodontal diseases as a common manifestation.

4) Smoking: Smoking is another etiological factor common to both periodontal and cardiac diseases and can severely worsen conditions in situations of both the mentioned diseases are present.

So, what can be done to prevent the chances of getting a cardiac disease due to your teeth?


Is Treatment or Prevention Possible?

The answer lies in the simple method of maintaining your oral health

  • regular dental checkups are importantRegularly brushing your teeth along with the use of additional oral hygiene methods such as flossing, mouthwashes etc, is a basic level prevention method for preventing any kind of oral health problems.
  • Timely visits to your dentist for regular check-ups of your oral health and diagnosing potential problems.
  • Professional cleaning of the teeth, known as scaling, by a dentist or dental hygienist every six months needs to be done.
  • In cases where you have an existing systemic complication,  especially a cardiac complication needs to be addressed to the dentist in the initial appointments.
  • In cases of already existing periodontal issues, potential risk factors need to be avoided and proper treatment must be done for the disease.


So, don’t wait and don’t neglect. A healthy mouth isn’t just a healthy mouth, it can save your life. It is not a wise man’s way to wait until the problem gets out of control before needing to fix it. If we pay attention to all our health problems from the time they start showing their presence, the bigger consequences can be easily avoided. 

Nobody wants to die of a heart attack and definitely not a heart attack just because you avoided taking care of your teeth. Treasure your oral health and it will give you a healthy life.

Remember, your oral health is the mirror of your body!

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