Do healthy gums mean a healthy heart?
There’s no question that regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups can keep your mouth healthy. But if you fall short on your hygiene routine, can gum disease actually cause heart disease?
There’s no conclusive evidence that preventing gum disease — periodontitis — can prevent heart disease or that treating gum disease can lessen atherosclerosis, the buildup of artery-clogging plaque that can result in a heart attack or stroke, according to an American Heart Association statement.
“The mouth can be a good warning signpost,” said Ann Bolger, M.D., William Watt Kerr Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “People with periodontitis often have risk factors that not only put their mouth at risk, but their heart and blood vessels, too. But whether one causes the other has not actually been shown.” …more