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How does oral health affect heart disease?

Gum disease is associated with several health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Both heart disease and gum disease share common risk factors, such as smoking and diabetes, which play a role in the development of both diseases. However, current scientific evidence does not establish a direct cause and effect relationship between the two.
Poor dentition can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is thought there is an inflammatory component that can contributes to irritation of heart artery linings. This is because your mouth naturally has bacteria that can cause inflammation.
The relationship between heart disease and oral health is unclear, but there is evidence to suggest that they oral health may affect heart health. Certain bacteria that cause periodontal disease have been found in arterial plaques that cause heart attacks. It is possible that these bacteria enter your bloodstream from the periodontal tissues and then make their way to your heart. On top of that, bacteria found in your mouth that cause gum inflammation may also cause inflammation in other parts of your body -- both of which could increase the risk of a heart attack. Before any definite conclusion can be made, more research will need to be done.

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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.