There are several studies that suggest that gum disease (periodontitis) is related to serious conditions like heart disease and stroke. While the exact nature of the cause-and effect relationship has not yet been established, research indicates that periodontal disease increases the risk of developing heart disease. Similarly, studies have found that people who had gum disease were more likely to have atherosclerosis in the carotid artery in the neck, which can lead to stroke. It is believed that inflammation caused by disease- causing bacteria in the mouth may be responsible for this association.
While maintaining a healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet and exercise is a crucial part of preventing heart disease and stroke, it is also wise to take these recent studies into consideration. Speak to your dentist and cardiologist for more information about the link between your dental and heart health.