We spend a lot of our time focused on how we should keep our mouths healthy for many reasons. Most of them are for the sake of our mouths alone. Flossing, brushing, healthy eating and drinking habits, and so on, are all so that our teeth are strong and attractive. After all, our teeth are very important to us. But it can be surprising to find how much the teeth are just as important to the rest of our bodies. Studies are suggesting that dental health is a contributing factor in heart disease.

The mouth is clearly the source of most every adverse thing that enters your body. Therefore, the teeth are a part of that process. Everything that happens in the mouth, whether it’s the passage of harmful foods or chemicals, or the harboring of bacteria, the teeth are responsible for exposing the rest of the body. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), chronic gum disease puts people at higher risk for a heart attack. In the beginning, this gum disease is known as gingivitis, but as the years progress, it develops into periodontal disease. Extreme plaque building up is the root cause.

Many researchers believe that bacteria formed from gum disease will contribute to heart disease. The bacteria in the infected gum will separate from the tooth and enter into the bloodstream. Then it attaches itself to blood vessels and this will increase clot formation. These clot formations are what restricts the blood flow, which raises blood pressure. This is what ultimately leads to heart attacks. This shows the process of how an unhealthy mouth can be just the trigger that causes you to eventually suffer a heart attack. Leaving it unchecked only increases the risk of severe and permanent cardiovascular damages.

There has not been conclusive evidence that heart disease and gum disease are directly responsible for causing each other. It can be hard to speculate, because they both have some of the same contributing factors that cause or complicate them. Some of them are poor nutrition, cigarette smoking, and diabetes. However, most of all systemic diseases have symptoms that express themselves orally. The mouth shows a strong history of being connected to a variety of ailments. Being sure you examine your teeth routinely, see a dentist on a regular basis, can prevent a lot of potential pain.

The AGD reports that when properly diagnosed and treatment is started to combat oral infections, many patients have had a decrease in blood pressure. This meant less medication, and an improvement in overall health. Knowing the signs of gums disease will help you prevent many other problems down the line. Gums will typically be red and swollen, or might bleed when brushing or flossing. When gums are pulling away from teeth, or you suffer from chronic bad breath, these might be early signs of gum disease. Always consider the connection of your mouth’s health to the health of every other part of your body.