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Oral Health and Heart Disease & Lung Disease

Young couple, male and female, using electric toothbrushes to brush their teeth while looking in the mirror in their bathroom

The professionals at Carolina Family Dental are here to help clean your teeth once every six months, but it’s your responsibility to keep up with your oral hygiene between visits. We’re not just telling you this because we’re dentists, but we’re giving this advice to help you prevent issues such as heart disease and lung disease that have been linked to poor oral health.

Many people don’t know that heart disease and lung disease can be cause by bad oral hygiene, so we decided to highlight the risks of not taking care of your teeth and how that can affect your heart and respiratory system.

Oral Health and Heart Disease

Can bad teeth cause heart problems? The answer to this is yes, it seems our oral health may have an impact on your cardiovascular health? Studies have been done that show a relationship between bad oral health and heart diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. And, while research is still being conducted, there are many links between gum disease and heart disease that suggest that oral health and heart disease may go hand in hand.

Cardiologists and periodontists have conducted research with other health professionals based on a long list of studies to further understand gum disease and heart disease. In many cases it appeared that gum disease was a risk factor leading to heart disease such as coronary heart disease. Other cases also showed higher risk of heart attack and stroke due to gum disease, while others offered no correlation between gum disease and heart disease. 

While many factors are still unknown, it is certain that the bacteria from gum disease causes inflammation in the body which raises levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). When seeing if a person is at risk for heart attack, CRP levels are checked. 

Though studies are still being conducted, it is important to take care of your oral hygiene in order to help prevent any possible risks that may be associated with oral health and heart disease. 

Periodontal Disease and Respiratory Disease

In addition to heart disease, periodontal disease (or gum disease) has also been linked to respiratory disease. But what exactly is the role of oral bacteria in respiratory infections? Researchers in the field have concluded that someone can become sick with respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and emphysema from the bacteria associated with gum disease. Gum disease may also worsen deadly diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is very serious. 

But how do periodontal disease and respiratory disease connect? It’s quite simple. The bacteria from our mouths can easily enter the lungs through inhalation. It’s in the respiratory tract that bacteria can spread and cause disease. The bacteria from periodontal disease can also cause inflammation in the lining of the lungs which can make it harder to breathe. 

While dentists and doctors can work together to help a patient get better, it’s important to take care of your oral health so that you don’t end up in this situation to begin with. Why risk contracting heart disease or lung disease when all you have to do is brush, floss, use mouthwash every day, and schedule cleanings with Carolina Family Dental twice a year?

Make an Appointment Today!

To really keep your smile looking its best, make an appointment with the friendly and professional staff at Carolina Family Dental today.