Associates of Dental Arts
Dr. Gregory Kivett

Gum Disease Linked to Blood Clots

Infographic White blood cells attack bacteria Heart Mouth connection Gum disease and heart disease

Periodontal (gum) disease—or periodontitis—has been linked with a number of maladies including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, colon cancer obesity and premature births. One of the earliest and most studied disease linked to gum disease are coronary diseases such as heart attack and stroke. In fact, people with periodontal disease are at twice the risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease as people with healthy gums. Scientist have discovered the bacteria that cause gum infections can also work their way into your blood stream and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

If you have periodontal (gum) disease, then you probably have oral bacteria floating around in your blood stream. Normally, your immune system will identify the bacteria and dispatch of them quickly. However, oral bacteria have developed a way to avoid your immune system by snatching up platelets (the cells that help your body create scabs and stop you from bleeding) and creating a protective shield to avoid detection. But doing so may increase the risk of your arteries becoming clogged giving you a heart attack or stroke.

To avoid the added risk gum disease has on you health, people need to follow the basic oral hygiene rules by brushing at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing at least once a day. Regular check-ups and cleanings with your dentist will help you treat gum disease early or avoid it completely. If you experience symptoms of gum disease such as red, swollen or tender gums, pain in the mouth, bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating hard food, receding gums, or loose teeth, call a dentist immediately to for a check-up, your heart may depend on it.


Article on gum disease and cardiovascular disease

Article on oral bacteria causing blood clots

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