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Gum Disease & Stroke – Baytown, TX

The Link Between Oral Health & Heart Attacks

Woman with healthy smile The first thing to understand is that the plaque that likes to reside on your teeth is the same plaque that causes heart attacks. Let that sink in for a moment.

The way it works is that the bacteria found in dental plaque can quite easily make it into your bloodstream and travel to your heart, resulting in clots and increasing the risk for heart attacks. Besides eating right and exercising, having good oral health is just as important in the case of your heart. There’s other research out there proving that fatty deposits can develop in the carotid arteries because of oral bacteria as well.

If you’re like most of our patients, this is new information for you. It might not make sense at first, but the research has shown a clear connection between oral and overall health. Read on below to learn more and how you can keep yourself protected.

If you have a periodontal disease (gum disease), here's what's at risk:

Older woman in dental chair looking at smile in mirror

Research suggests that those with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. Dental plaque can also create bacterial endocarditis, where heart valves enlarge, and COPD, which is a pulmonary disease. The Boston University School of Dental Medicine also suggests people who have missing teeth due to periodontal diseases have a higher risk for strokes as well. According to Dr. Hutto from Aesthetic Family Dentistry in Baytown, people don’t take their oral health as seriously as they should. “It’s just as important as the rest of our bodies,” he says.

Healthy Teeth, Free of Gum Disease, Equal a Great Heart

Woman exercising

In order to ensure proper oral health, it’s important you visit your dentist at least twice a year for general dentistry and dental exams with X-rays. If you live in Baytown or a nearby community, contact Dr. Hutto and Dr. Ragsdale. If you do a little of the preventive work, brush twice a day for at least two full minutes, and floss, you’ll notice when something is off. For example, you’ll see the signs of early gum disease much quicker, which are:

  • Sores in your mouth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath
  • General oral discomfort