Are bleeding gums a warning sign for heart problems? Your dentist near Discovery Bay, CA explains the impact of gum disease

There has been ongoing discussion for several years on the topic of gum disease and its effect on the body. We maintain an understanding of the importance of healthy teeth and gums. However, our first thoughts of dental disease may be the cosmetic effect on the smile. Dr. Alkhoury, when meeting with patients for routine exams, restorative, or cosmetic care, explains the importance of gum care and the effect it has on health.

More and more, research data is pointing to the immense effect our mouths have on our bodies. The dental problems that we face, including cavities and gum disease, are not caused by sugar or any other substance or habit. These conditions are caused by bacteria, of which there are millions in our mouth at any given time. They are living organisms that pose a real threat to our teeth and gums, and to our entire bodies.

One study, conducted by researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, showed a direct correlation between the presence of gum disease, and its chronic state of inflammation, and heart disease. Currently, heart disease is a leading cause of death among American adults. A concerning factor of heart disease is the narrowing of the arteries, called atherosclerosis. The arteries, narrowed by plaque, significantly increase one's risk for heart disease, as well as stroke – two deadly events.

The concerns that develop from gum disease are twofold. First, the body responds in a unique way to the chronic inflammation of gum disease, setting off system-wide functions that lead to disease. Secondly, bleeding gums are quite significant in the risk of heart disease because, when the gums bleed; oral bacteria have an entry point directly into the blood. As the bacteria make their way from bleeding gums through veins and arteries, they have the potential of sticking, like plaque, to the artery walls. Your dentist near Discovery Bay, CA is committed to helping you avoid the pitfalls of gum disease.

The study performed by the Mailman School was not all bad news – not in the least. Researchers, in following participants for three years, discovered that regular brushing and flossing do reduce the numbers of bacteria present in the mouth. Combined with the recommended schedule for professional care, brushing and flossing can help you keep your teeth, gums, and body healthy.

Dr. Alkhoury and our dental team have a long history of helping people enjoy excellent oral health. Contact us today to schedule your visit.

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