Do you know the health of your gums can determine the health of your heart? According to studies, the bacteria found in infected gums can spread to your heart and cause heart diseases. People with gum diseases are twice as likely to get cardiovascular diseases than people with good oral health. Given the increase in the number of heart diseases in India, the link between oral and heart health is of utmost importance.
So, how does it happen?
The bacterias that are found in the plaque and are responsible for most of the oral diseases, can infect your gums. This infection causes your gums to swell and bleed. When you perform normal activities like chewing and brushing your teeth, the pathogens enter your bloodstream. Once this bacteria has entered your circulation, they can travel to different parts of your body including your heart.
What happens once the bacteria enter your heart?
Inflammation or swelling. Inflammation is body’s first response to infection. When oral bacteria from dental plaque reaches your heart, it invokes a similar response. This leads to the formation of arterial plaque. Oral bacteria have been found in the arterial deposits in various studies. This arterial plaque can cause atherosclerosis leading to heart attack or stroke.
What can you do?
Given the link between your oral health and heart disease, it is important to know the signs of gum infection. Some of the early signs of gum disease are:
1. Bleeding on brushing: If you notice blood in your spit while brushing, chances are your gums are infected. While bleeding once or twice is normal, consistent bleeding is a cause for concern.
2. Reddish or swollen gums: Do you feel anything different about your gums? Are they causing any difficulty while chewing? If you feel your gums are swollen than normal or appear reddish, they could be infected.
3. Pain in mouth: Any pain, whether it is in your gums, cheeks, teeth or tongue can be a sign of infection. Pain in oral cavity should always be examined.
Nagging Tooth Ache? Constant pain? Why wait? Go for it Now!
4. Pus in gums: Another indicator of infection is pus. You can feel something oozing from your gums if you have pus.
5. Ulcers in mouth: While ulcers may not be a sure indicator of periodontal infection, they can be the point for oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
6. Persistent bad breath: Bad breath can be due to a number of reasons, one of them being gum infection. If you experience bad breath for more than a week, you should see your dentist.
7. Loose teeth: Gum infection causes the oral tissue to break down, this leads to loose teeth.
Any of the above signs are an indicator of gum disease. If you notice even one, it is best to consult your dentist at the earliest. Heart diseases kill 1.7 million Indians every year, reduce your risks of contracting one.