How a Healthy Mouth Leads to a Healthy Heart | Oral Health

More and more these days, dentists are emphasizing just how important oral health is for overall health. Specifically, what is being encouraged is for patients to visit their dentists much more regularly for checkups and professional cleaning, regardless of whether they’re feeling any kind of pain or not, as a preventative measure for gum disease.

This recent emphasis on prevention and treatment of gum disease may have come to light because of what recent researches suggest on how gum disease can affect much more than the teeth and gums.

For example, heart complications such as heart disease, are much more likely to happen to those who have gum disease in its moderate to advanced stages.

How Are The Two Connected?

The connection between oral health and heart disease lies in how bacteria and other germs from the mouth can travel to the other parts of the human body via the blood stream. And, once the bacteria reaches the heart, it can attach to any damaged area and cause inflammation, which can lead to a condition known as endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart.

The inflammation caused by oral bacteria has also been linked to other cardiovascular conditions such as stroke and atherosclerosis or the clogging of the arteries.

Who Is At Risk?

Patients who are suffering from advanced periodontal disease or gingivitis are the most at risk for heart disease as a result of their poor oral health. This is especially true if their cases remain undiagnosed and untreated.

Basically, however, anyone with inadequate oral hygiene and accumulated plaque, regardless of whether one’s suffering from gum disease or not, is at risk for heart disease.

Signs and Symptoms

While it’s near-impossible to self diagnose gum disease, watching out for these signs and symptoms can help let you know if it’s time for a quick trip to the dentist or not.

  • Red, swollen gums that are sore to touch.
  • Noticeable bleeding in your gums when you’re brushing, flossing or even eating.
  • There are noticeable sign of infection, such as pus, around your teeth and gums.
  • Your gums are slowly starting to “recede” and/or your teeth are starting to appear longer than normal.
  • Halitosis or bad breath and you find yourself having an unexplainable bad taste in your mouth.
  • Some of your teeth are becoming loose, or feel like they’re starting to move away from other teeth.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene and scheduling regular visits to the dentist for oral examinations and professional cleaning.

Good oral hygiene consists of brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing properly at least once and rinsing with mouthwash afterwards. If you don’t know how to floss your teeth, be sure to ask your dentist or dental hygienist for an actual demonstration.

By being proactive about your oral health, you not only protect yourself from gum disease and eventually, heart disease, but also make sure that your smile is kept healthy, clean and beautiful throughout your whole life.

If you are interested in learning more about how your oral health can affect your overall health, contat Dr. Graham Farless DDS at 336-282-2868 or visit for more information.