Tooth Decay, Cavities & Periodontal Disease: Do They Cause Heart Disease?

Tooth Decay & Cavities

Tooth decay and periodontal disease are common dental issues. According to the CDC, about 47.2% of individuals above 30 years have periodontal disease. However, your likelihood of this disease increases with age, and older persons are most affected.

Surprisingly, these dental issues will not only plaque your mouth but may result in other life-threatening conditions. Researchers have studied the link between gum disease and cardiovascular health for years. And studies claim that plague can build up in your arteries, raising your risk of coronary artery disease.

Understanding tooth decay, cavities & periodontal disease.

Cavities are small holes in the teeth and are mostly caused by the bacteria responsible for causing gum disease. They start from tooth decay and have a significant role in gum diseases. For example, if a cavity irritates the gum, this can lead to gingivitis or periodontitis.

Similarly, periodontal diseases result from infection and inflammation of the gums and bone surrounding the teeth. In its early stages, it’s referred to as gingivitis, whereby the gums swell, become red and sometimes bleed. The condition exhibits in different stages, these include;

  • Gingivitis
  • Slight periodontal disease
  • Moderate periodontal disease
  • Advanced periodontal disease.

This shouldn’t scare you, though! Dental examination and check-up up can detect the signs of gingivitis, and the dentist can manage the condition during this stage. Gum disease and periodontal treatment are fundamental dental services; if left untreated, periodontitis will affect your dental health. It can also affect other parts of the body, including the heart.

 Do tooth decay, cavities & periodontal disease cause heart disease?

Good oral hygiene improves your dental and overall health. Although it isn’t a proven way of preventing heart disease, research shows there’s a link between oral health and heart disease. For instance, periodontitis is associated with a high risk of developing heart disease. This is because poor dental health raises the risk of bacterial infections in your bloodstream, affecting the heart valves.

Poor dental health is widely debated as a possible cause of heart disease. But, studies by the American Heart Association, after reviewing the scientific evidence and concluded that poor oral health hasn’t been proved to cause heart disease. However, there’s a connection between the two and dental hygiene and check-ups are preventative measures that can avoid most dental issues.

Here’s what to know;

  • Gum disease is associated with a higher risk of developing heart disease.
  • Poor dental health raises the risk of a bacterial infection in your bloodstream, affecting your heart valves. Oral health is then important if you have artificial heart valves.
  • Tooth loss patterns are somehow connected to coronary artery disease.
  • There’s a strong link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There’s also evidence that people with diabetes benefit immensely from periodontal treatment.

In summary, proper dental health will affect your overall health and can raise your susceptibility to many other health conditions. It’s advisable to maintain excellent dental health through daily brushing and flossing. Also, schedule regular dental check-ups and cleaning by a reputed dentist. This will detect any issues early, avoid most dental complications and save you a lot of money in the long run.