The more scientists learn about periodontal health and heart health, the clearer it becomes that these two seemingly separate areas are interconnected. The dentists at Pacific Northwest Periodontics are familiar with the research that shows that people who have gum disease are two or three times more likely to suffer a cardiovascular emergency like a heart attack or stroke. While plenty of people with gum disease do not have heart conditions, this research adds to the list of reasons to seek treatment when you do notice signs of gum disease.
How Heart and Gum Health Are Related?
Although the medical community is still learning about the precise link between the gums and the heart, what researchers strongly suspect is that the same bacteria that causes periodontitis and gingivitis can enter the bloodstream and travel through the blood vessels to other areas of the body, including the heart.
In the heart specifically, the bacteria can lead to blood clots and inflammation, which heighten the risks for a cardiovascular event. The valves of the heart seem especially vulnerable to this bacterium; patients with artificial heart valves need to remain extra vigilant about gum disease for this reason.
How to Treat Gum Disease(Periodontitis)?
Fortunately, you know one easy solution for lowering your risk for cardiovascular problems: addressing gum disease. Nearly half of all adults in the United States over the age of 30 have gum disease, and many of them choose to ignore the condition. Treatments like scaling and root planning, osseous surgery and perioscope therapy make it possible to overcome gum disease, no matter the stage.
If you notice symptoms of gum disease like bleeding after brushing or flossing, swollen gums, bad breath, loose or sensitive teeth or the appearance of pus, then you should meet with a periodontist to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
The existing research shows that patients who formerly had gum disease but treated and overcame the condition are no longer at an elevated risk for heart attack and stroke. In other words, even if your oral health has declined, you should be motivated to address gingivitis to protect the longevity of your life.
Make an Appointment
Led by Dr. Darrin Rapoport, the outstanding team at Pacific Northwest Periodontics has helped many patients in Washington to conquer gum disease. If you have ignored your bleeding gums for too long, please make an appointment for the sake of your health. Call the Seattle office at (206) 575-1086 or Kent office at (253) 239-3032.