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The Correlation Between Dental & Heart Health

February 14, 2023 / DENTISTRY

What studies are telling us and how we can take strides to protect our health

While the science is not absolute, there is evidence linking poor oral health to a whole host of possible and serious health issues such as dementia, diabetes, respiratory infections, cancer, and yes, cardiovascular disease. In fact, while taking into consideration multiple risk factors, experts believe that those who show signs of periodontal disease are at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

"here are multiple studies showing that those with cardiovascular disease also show evidence of poor oral health and in some cases periodontal disease,” says Dr. Mark Cloth, Owner of Dentistry on Sheppard located at the corner of Yonge and Sheppard in North York. “A recent study by the University of Toronto found a direct link to oral hygiene and secondary health challenges. While we must consider all environmental and health factors, we do know that inflammation and bacteria, both common elements that lead to periodontal disease, are also key factors in heart health."

What can we conclude from the research and what should it mean to us?

  • Perhaps people who are more attentive to their dental health tend to place higher priority on their overall health.
  • Gum disease leads to inflammation, and we know that inflammation in the body leads to a whole host of possible complications, cardiovascular disease being one
  • The bacteria in your mouth can spread to other parts of your body through your blood stream. If bacteria reaches the heart, it can result in illnesses such as endocarditis (inflection of the inner lining of the heart), atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and stroke.

Take Precautions and Understand the Signs of Gum Disease

While much is still unknown about the connection between dental and oral health it has long been proven that your oral health is an important indicator of overall health. Regular brushing and flossing are good habits to maintain. However, if in the pursuit of good oral habits, you see any of these signs, we urge you to contact Dr. Mark Cloth and the team at Dentistry on Sheppard to discuss further:

  • Your gums tend to bleed when you eat, brush or floss.
  • Your gums are irritated - red, swollen, and sore to the touch
  • You notice a gap between your gums and your teeth, or it feels as if you are teeth are loose and pulling away from your gums
  • You suffer from halitosis (bad breath) mouth.

Being proactive might not just protect your dental health, but your heart health as well. So, show your teeth and mouth the love they deserve – your dental team at Yonge and Sheppard will do the same.

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