Why Periodontal Disease and Tooth Decay Are Linked To Heart Attack and Stroke

heart health - periodontal disease treatment idaho falls

idaho falls organic dentistryAs time goes by and technology continues to advance, more and more evidence is beginning to accumulate showing the link between dental health and the overall health of the body. Most notably, the link between periodontal disease and tooth decay as they relate to heart disease and stroke. All of these conditions are related due to one common factor:

Plaque

Plaque is the main culprit in almost all dental problems. Plaque is an acidic buildup in the mouth, and the result of bacteria that naturally lives in the mouth combining with carbohydrates from the food that you eat. If you go long periods of time between brushing your teeth, the plaque that has accumulated will simply merge with more carbohydrates and become stronger and thicker.

Consider that plaque is also the main factor of concern when it comes to heart disease, which results from plaque build up in the arteries of the heart. Also consider that one of the most common forms of bacteria that ultimately creates plaque, the bacteria Streptococcus mutans, is particularly associated with hemorrhagic stroke and cerebral microbleeds.

Connection Between the Mouth and Body

Let’s look at how periodontal disease and tooth decay can influence one’s risk for heart attack and stroke, beginning with:

Periodontal Disease

This is a condition in which plaque builds up in the mouth and makes its way into and under the gum line. The body responds to this build up of plaque by release a hormone that causes the gums to become inflamed and bleed easily.

Over time, this condition can progress into periodontitis, at which point the gums recede from the teeth and they become loosened to the point that tooth loss is common.

From the gums, plaque and bacteria have direct access to the bloodstream, and from there, to the heart and brain, possibly increasing one’s risk of heart disease or hemorrhagic stroke.

Tooth Decay

idaho falls organic dentistryAs plaque builds up on the teeth, the acid begins to eat away at the enamel, the protective outer layer of the teeth. From there, it creates a cavity in the next layer of the tooth called the dentin, and from there, to the tooth pulp, the soft tissue underneath the dentin that contains the tooth root.

Ultimately, an abscess forms at or around the tooth root. An abscess is an inflamed pocket of infection containing plaque and its associated bacteria. Much like with periodontal disease, these substances have a direct access to the bloodstream via the gums, and can increase your risk of stroke and heart disease. 

Your Idaho Falls Organic Dentist Can Help

At Mudrow Family Dental, Dr. Kevin Mudrow will perform gum cleanings that are gentle and safe, so as to not force bacteria into the bloodstream. He also offers safe, clean, and bio-compatible services to help reverse tooth decay, including the use of non-amalgam fillings.

Dr. Kevin Mudrow can also identify the beginning stages of periodontal disease faster than other Idaho Falls dentists.

Don’t wait for your dental problems to get worse. Contact Mudrow Family Dental today.