It’s common these days to hear someone say that oral hygiene is crucial for your overall health. A lot of people are living with gum disease or periodontal disease, and these diseases usually go undiagnosed. The reason is that the teeth might feel fine, and most people might avoid visiting the dentist. Plus, visits to a physician don’t concentrate on oral health.
However, there is evidence of links between heart disease and oral health. Some recent studies have shown that someone with gum disease in advance or moderate stage is at high risk for heart diseases as compared to a person with healthy gums. Plus, oral health can offer warning symptoms for a wide range of conditions and diseases, which include heart diseases.
Why are oral hygiene and heart disease linked?
Heart disease and oral health are linked as bacteria spread from the mouth to different parts of the body through blood. When the bacteria manage to reach the blood vessels, it will look for a very cozy place. This is where it will reproduce. The coziest place the bacteria will get is the heart.
These bacteria will reach the heart and can stay in a damaged area. This will lead to inflammation. This will lead to diseases like endocarditis, which is an infection that affects the heart’s inner lining. But that doesn’t mean that all the bacteria in the mouth can cause endocarditis.
The bacteria can damage the heart valves. Valves distribute blood to all parts of the body. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream during routine tasks such as flossing too hard or when brushing teeth aggressively. However, this is rare.
Other cardiovascular conditions, like stroke and atherosclerosis, have been related to inflammation due to oral bacteria.
Who Is at Higher Risk?
People suffering from chronic gum conditions like advanced periodontal or gingivitis disease are at higher risk for heart diseases. These diseases are due to poor oral health, especially when left unmanaged and undiagnosed.
The bacteria that cause gum infection are found in the patient’s mouth and might enter your bloodstream. They will attach themselves to your blood vessels, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Just because you haven’t experienced noticeable gum inflammation doesn’t mean you are fine. Accumulated plaque and inadequate oral hygiene can raise your risk for gum diseases. Also, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause high C-reactive protein. This could be a sign of blood vessel inflammation. This increases your risk of stroke and heart disease. Other people with higher risk include:
– People with prosthetic or artificial heart valve
– People with congenital heart defects
– People with a history of endocarditis
– People with a defect in heart valve
Warning signs and symptoms
The warning signs and symptoms for gum disease include:
– Red, swollen gums that are sore when touched
– Bleeding of the gums when eating, brushing or flossing
– Signs of infection such as pus around the teeth and gums
– Some teeth are loose
– Bad breath and bad breath in the mouth
Signs and symptoms of endocarditis
The signs of this disease will vary depending on the bacteria. Some symptoms can develop faster or slower. The symptoms vary in severity and depend on the history of cardiac problems. The common symptoms include:
– Difficulty in breathing
– Sweeping of feet
– Body aches and joint pains
– Fever with chills
Endocarditis diagnosis and treatment
A physical examination can reveal abnormal heart sounds. The doctor would have to know the bacteria causing the disease and the severity of the endocardium. A common investigation includes:
– CT scan
– CRP level testing
– Complete blood count
Endocarditis can be treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics. Antipyretics can be used to control fever and alleviate malaise and body aches. Surgical management can also be applied to people who succumb to heart valve injuries.
Regular dental examinations and oral hygiene are good ways to keep bacteria out of the mouth. It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice per day. You need to use a soft brush. The brush needs to fit in the mouth comfortably so that it reaches each tooth sufficiently. It’s also helping to visit your dentist after six months.
There are guidelines for those with heart disease that assist them when undergoing dental procedures. These guidelines apply when it involves gum tissue manipulation, oral tissue perforation, digging inside your tooth. You need to alert your dentist if you suffer from a heart condition. You can learn more about these guidelines by visiting aperturedental.com.au
By paying attention to your oral hygiene, you can prevent yourself from the connection between heart disease and oral health.