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Heart Health and Your Teeth

Poor oral health affects more than just your smile; it can lead to poor general health in other areas of the body.  Gum disease has already been linked to strokes, diabetes and issues during pregnancy and although more research is needed, some studies have shown that inflammation caused by gum disease can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. 

Gum disease increases the risk of bacterial infection in the bloodstream and this bacteria can travel to blood vessels elsewhere in the body where they can cause inflammation and damage.   It’s the inflammation caused by the body’s immune response that is the problem and not the actual bacteria except for the condition infective endocarditis. 

Infective Endocarditis is a rare but life threatening condition that involves the heart valves and is caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream via the mouth and this risk is increased in those suffering from gum disease. 

Even though further study is required, it is important to maintain a healthy mouth through regular dental visits, good oral hygiene habits at home and regular cleanings with your dentist or hygienist.




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