Thanks to gum disease treatment, people with gingivitis or periodontitis can reverse or at least manage the symptoms of their condition. The early stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, can be reversed by getting your teeth cleaned by a dentist and improving your oral hygiene. The more advanced stages of gum disease are not reversible,…
The Connection Between Bleeding Gums, Heart Disease and Periodontal Health
For years, researchers have looked into how bleeding gums and heart disease seem to share a connection. Experts are not sure why people with gum disease are two to three times more likely to develop heart disease. There are several theories on why there is a correlation. Poor periodontal health is now considered a risk factor for heart disease. You should not overlook your bleeding gums and what they may say about your periodontal health.
The poor diet link
One habit that people with gum disease and heart disease often share in common is a poor diet. Eating foods high in starches and sugars can promote unhealthy gums. The sugars feed bad bacteria that grow and form plaque along the gumline. This plaque can cause bleeding and inflamed gums.
Inflammation and gum disease
Researchers are beginning to understand how damaging inflammation is in the body. People with bleeding gums can suffer from long-term poor periodontal health. These people may live with chronic inflammation for years or even decades. Chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of heart disease even if it does not start in the heart.
Untreated gum disease causes inflammation in the gum tissue. The most common symptom people experience is bleeding gums. If people ignore swollen gums, then gum disease will progress. It can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. This chronic inflammation stresses the body and especially the heart.
Making food choices
Many foods make inflammation worse on several levels. For instance, processed foods break down into sugars on the teeth and create inflammation related to gum disease. These foods also cause inflammation in other areas of the body along the digestive tract. The more inflammation a body deals with regularly, the more stress and strain a body is under.
Bacteria can travel
Another link researchers are exploring is whether the bacteria that cause gum disease travel through the body. Researchers theorize that the bacteria can cause the same inflammation in the heart as in the gums. Infection from bacteria can damage the valves of the heart. It can also be present in the bloodstream. All these situations produce damaging and even deadly inflammation.
Taking charge of bleeding gums and periodontal health
People can take real steps to combat gum disease at home. People with or without heart disease who have bleeding gums can take a close look at brushing and flossing habits. A dentist can recommend an effective toothbrush and can also show the proper way to floss. Some patients can benefit from using an antiseptic mouthwash. Changing to a more balanced diet with less processed foods and more green, leafy vegetables positively impacts gum health.
The sooner you take charge of your gum health, the better. Regular visits to your dentist can help you track your progress. The dentist can also remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup. You should discuss any heart disease issues with your dentist to form a complete plan of care.
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