While the two may seem unrelated, there is a very significant connection between the gums/teeth and your heart. If left untreated, the bacteria and plaque that build up on your teeth can eventually spread to the heart, leading to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

How Does Periodontal Disease Affect the Heart?

Recent studies have shown there may be a potential link between heart and gum disease; people with periodontal disease may be more at risk for having a heart attack or stroke. However, many people with heart disease have healthy gums, and not everyone with gum disease develops heart problems.

The best way to prevent potential heart issues is to be proactive about your gum health—through daily brushing, flossing, and booking regular professional dental cleanings every year.

Gum Disease Symptoms

Periodontal disease can affect everyone differently, but the most common gum disease symptom warning signs include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer-appearing teeth

Early periodontal disease, known commonly as gingivitis, can often be taken care of and even reversed with mindful dental care, such as teeth brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and having regular visits to your dentist to help remove plaque. You may have gingivitis if your gums often get red, swell, or bleed easily. If this happens frequently, your dentist will most likely refer you to a local periodontist to help ease these symptoms.

Heart Disease Symptoms

It’s important to remember that the symptoms of coronary artery disease are different for everyone, especially for men and women. For instance, men are more likely to have chest pain, while women are more likely to have other signs and symptoms, such as shoulder pain and mild chest discomfort.

The main signs and symptoms of heart disease can include:

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest tightness (angina)
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back

If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor. Heart disease is treatable when caught early, and can prevent more serious issues down the line.

Gum Disease Prevention

Gum disease can easily be prevented with regular care and monitoring of your teeth and gums. Most importantly, this includes:

  • Brushing teeth twice a day
  • Flossing daily
  • Using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Scheduling regular dental cleanings (2 times per year)
  • Using a cleansing mouthwash

Here in San Diego at Poway Perio, under the experience of Dr. Alireza Khansari, MSD, we are happy to help you fight periodontal disease and get your teeth and gums back to good health. If you have more questions or would like to book a consultation, we’re happy to discuss your situation. Just give us a call at 858-679-0142.