Cardiovascular diseases including heart disease, diseases of the blood vessels and stroke are responsible for one-third of all deaths in Canada.
Your heart health is impacted by your oral health, and poor oral health can put you at elevated risk for cardiovascular diseases. Research suggests there is a strong correlation between oral and cardio health. Your chances of developing cardiovascular disease may increase if you have periodontal (gum) disease. Inflammation of the gums may trigger inflammation in other areas of the body such as the heart. Bleeding gums, a common symptom of gum disease, become a pathway for bacteria to travel from the mouth into the rest of the body. Once oral bacteria reach the arteries it is believed it can contribute to build up (called plaques) on the arterial walls. This build up can contribute to restricting normal blood flow and impact heart functioning, increasing the risk for heart disease.
Proper oral hygiene techniques and improved oral health practices can help prevent heart disease. “Brushing, flossing, using oral rinses, eating a healthy diet and accessing regular professional dental hygiene care are all steps in the right direction to combat bacteria and prevent gum disease. Your dental professional will assess your health history, examine your head and neck, check your mouth, gums and teeth and together you will develop an oral hygiene care plan that includes prevention and treatment therapies to ensure the best health possible.
Dr. Tasneem Rhemtulla DMD