Heart Health and Gum Disease: How Are They Linked?

Real patient of Dr. Gorman, Olga, smiling about her healthy and beautiful smile

February is Opens new tab to learn about American Heart Month American Heart Month, and here at The Gorman Center for Fine Dentistry, we want to help you understand the link between heart health and gum disease in this quick blog!

Our primary focus this month is the prevention of heart conditions through superior oral health for our patients. Heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men in the United States.

One way to help prevent heart disease is to maintain a healthy oral environment. There are many connections between an unhealthy mouth and heart disease, with the main one being gum disease.

Heart health and gum disease

When someone has periodontal disease (gum disease), there is often a large buildup of plaque around the gum that is filled with bacteria. The bacteria can affect the heart when it enters the bloodstream. This can contribute to swelling and clotting of the arteries leading to systemic inflammation and heart problems.

In addition to your heart health, gum disease has been linked to:

  • Strokes
  • Certain cancers
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Inflammatory response

Did you also know poorly controlled diabetes can increase your risk for dental problems, which therefore increases your risk for heart problems?

A healthy lifestyle will help with your oral health and total body health. You must also focus on eating a balanced and nutritious diet, avoiding excess alcohol, and eliminating tobacco and vapor-based products.

How to prevent gum disease

The best way to ensure a healthy mouth is to commit to regular dental visits and thorough home care daily. Our North Oaks dentist, Dr. Steve Gorman and his registered dental hygienist, Sarah, can look for early signs of periodontal disease and treat it comfortably in the office to prevent any further health issues stemming from poor oral health.

At home, the best thing you can do is regularly brush, floss, tongue scrape, and use any additional adjuncts that will help control potentially harmful bacteria.

Protect your heart health from gum disease

Perio Protect

We are excited to offer an effective tray/gel system called Opens new tab to Perio Protect website Perio Protect, which is proven to kill bacteria that cause periodontal disease and bad breath. Perio Protect trays have a unique seal designed to place and hold a low concentration peroxide gel below the gum line. Worn for fifteen minutes per day, this gel system is comfortable, safe, effective, and even whitens teeth over time!

It is great for patients to use consistently at home in between dental visits. Everyone can benefit from Perio Protect!

Bacterial test

Do you notice inflammation or bleeding in your mouth? Our dentist in North Oaks, MN can prescribe an advanced bacterial swish test to determine what type of bacteria are in your mouth and to determine any genetic tendencies for periodontal disease.

The results of the bacterial testing show which bacteria, unique to you, can be harmful and potentially contributing to other conditions in your body. When we determine which bacteria are present, we can customize a plan to treat the ongoing problem.

Have a question about your oral health?

Our team at The Gorman Center for Fine Dentistry enjoys educating others about all aspects of dentistry, including the oral systemic health link. Contact us today if you have a burning question you want answered, or read our blog for more dental facts.

Looking for a new dentist? Contact us! Dr. Gorman is accepting new patients and proudly serves the North Oaks, MN area, including St. Paul, Minneapolis, Vadnais Heights, New Brighton, Shoreview, Little Canada, White Bear Lake, Lino Lakes, Dellwood, Roseville, Twin Cities, Edina, Minnetonka, Eagan, Woodbury, Hudson, Arden Hills, and Wisconsin.

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