Does heart disease risk vary based on oral health problems?

Absolutely. Many oral health problems result in an inflammatory process that can put you at much greater risk of heart disease. A study at Columbia University with 145,000 patients, and repeated in a similar study in Japan, showed that an improvement in oral health reduced health care costs for the treatment of patients with heart disease by an average of 21%.
Research suggests that the risk of heart disease varies depending on how severe your gum disease is. In other words, if you have an advanced stage of periodontal disease like periodontitis, you may have a higher cardiovascular risk than if you only had gingivitis, or the first stages of gum disease. This might be because having a more severe gum infection may increase the risk that the organisms involved might travel through the bloodstream and worsen a heart condition. Since gums that are infected tend to bleed, this opens up a route for the organisms to enter the blood. They might also enter through sores or cuts in the mouth.

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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.