Periodontal (gum) disease can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Medical researchers have several explanations for their relationship:
- Bacteria that causes periodontal disease can release toxins into the blood stream and act as a precursor to help form fatty plaques in the lining of the arteries.
- The bacteria causes the liver to produce high levels of certain proteins which inflame the blood vessels causing inadequate blood flow.
- This bacteria has been isolated in the cholesterol ladened fatty deposits in arterial walls. The body’s immune system responds to the bacteria in these arterial walls causing inflammation at the site of the deposits. This inflammation causes further destruction of the artery and improper turbulent blood flow that is susceptible to blood clotting. This process can lead to a heart attack and/or stroke.
The bacteria found in periodontal disease was thought to only occupy the mouth, but since researchers have found it in fatty deposits of arteries give proof that this bacteria enters the blood stream and affects arteries as well as other organs throughout the body. By working closely with your cardiologist, together we can more effectively treat your cardiovascular condition.