…and Heart Disease

Periodontal Disease, Heart Disease and Stroke

Coronary heart disease occurs when there is build up on the walls of your arteries, causing the arteries to narrow, constricting blood flow. Oxygen is restricted from traveling to the heart, which results in shortness of breath, chest pain and even a heart attack. Patients with periodontal disease are nearly twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease than those with healthy mouths. Periodontal disease also has been proven to exacerbate existing heart conditions. Additionally, patients with periodontal disease are more susceptible to strokes.

One of the causes of the connection between periodontal disease and heart disease is oral bacteria entering the bloodstream. Inflammation caused by periodontal disease creates an increase in white blood cells and C-reactive proteins (CRP). CRP is a protein that has long-been associated with heart disease. When levels are increased in the body, this amplifies the body’s natural inflammatory response. Bacteria from periodontal disease may enter the bloodstream, causing the liver to produce extra CRP, which then leads to inflamed arteries and possibly blood clots. Inflamed arteries can lead to blockage, which can cause heart attacks or strokes.


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