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What is the link between gingivitis and heart disease?

The exact link between gingivitis and heart disease is poorly understood, but it is thought there is an inflammatory reaction that may contribute to heart attacks. Poor dental hygiene, causing disease like gingivitis, can allow bacteria present in the mouth to enter the body's circulation and cause an infection of the heart valves. This is a serious infection, so prevention with good oral hygiene is recommended.
Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious condition associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Periodontitis may also make worse an existing heart condition, such as infective endocarditis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.