Ask a Complete Health Dentist About the Relationship Between Periodontal Health and Cardiovascular Disease

Ask a Complete Health Dentist About the Relationship Between Periodontal Health and Cardiovascular Disease

September 13, 2021

A complete health dentist knows that people who have bad oral health might have cardiovascular disease. Gum disease puts you at a higher risk of having issues such as strokes or heart attacks. Those who have good oral health are less likely to have these conditions. Keep reading to learn why this is.

Why the connection exists

There are several ideas as to why there might be a link between gum disease and cardiovascular issues. For instance, bacteria are responsible for periodontitis and gingivitis. This can travel to the blood vessels and cause inflammation there. That causes damage to the vessels and small blood clots. That can lead to a stroke or a heart attack. Researchers have found some oral bacteria in areas far away from the mouth.

The connection may also exist because of the immune response from the body. Inflammation can cause vascular damage in the whole body. That includes areas in the brain and heart. Some researchers also believe that third factors, like smoking, are risk factors for both.

One study has looked at more than 65,000 cardiovascular events. These events included heart attacks. The researchers analyzed data of almost a million people. The studies found that there was a correlation between tooth loss and heart disease. Tooth loss is connected to poor oral health.


Inflammation, or swelling, is a common link. This can cause hardened arteries. This makes it harder for blood to move to the heart, putting the patient at risk for strokes. Inflammation also points to gum disease.

Swollen and sore gums are the main symptom of this condition. The two main kinds are periodontitis and gingivitis. Gingivitis causes painful, tender gums. Periodontitis can lead to pockets of pus. This is what can lead to heart problems since the bacteria can spread.

There are a lot of blood vessels in the gums. If the gum layer is disrupted, the bacteria can spread. It will enter the bloodstream and go to the rest of the body, including the heart. Plus, that will also cause the inflammation to spread in the rest of the body.

Other diseases

The connection between cardiovascular disease and poor oral health might not be limited to only that issue. Periodontal disease might also be linked to rheumatoid arthritis. This was even more the case if there was an infection with the bacteria porphyromonas gingivalis. Other studies have found links between these bacteria and pancreatic cancer. Of course, more research is still needed.

Visit a complete health dentist today

Whether there is a direct link, or it is indirect, having a healthy mouth is important for your health. Getting regular dental care and avoiding smoking are two ways you can do that. It will also help you to keep your teeth. This is a good reason to make your oral health important in your life. Making an appointment with your complete health dentist can help you avoid diseases.

Request an appointment here: or call Holger Dental Group at (952) 777-7006 for an appointment in our Minnetonka office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Periodontics in Minnetonka, MN.

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