What’s the Connection?
Recent research has suggested a link between poor oral health and heart disease. Some of the findings include:
- Poor oral health may be a predictor of future heart disease.
- Oral infections may produce inflammation that can be associated with heart disease.
- Individuals with chronic gum disease may be at greater risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke.
- The more teeth a person has lost, the more likely they are to have gum disease and also carotid artery plaques (indicators of heart disease).
Additional research needs to be conducted on the relationship between oral health and heart disease. However, it is important to note that people with good oral health generally have fewer chronic diseases, including heart disease.
If you already have heart disease, it is important to maintain good oral-hygiene habits. Follow all instructions given to you by your dentist and your physician. This is especially important because you may need a prescription for an antibiotic before a dental appointment.
Source: Maryland Department of Health, Office of Oral Health