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Know Your Teeth - Infobites - How Can Gum Disease Affect My Cardiovascular Health? -- Search By Keyword, Letter or Phrase - 1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327)
Dental care and oral health information you need
from the Academy of General Dentistry

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth


Quick Reference

Men's Oral Health

Men: Looking for a Better Job? Start by Visiting the Dentist


Long ago, most men worked for one or two employers throughout a lifetime and many did not think about the way their overall appearance affected their professional life.

Learn what those dental words mean.

Check out how your teeth and mouth change in every stage of life.



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How Can Gum Disease Affect My Cardiovascular Health?

Chapter: Gum Disease and Your Heart

The current theory is that bacteria present in infected gums can come loose and move throughout the body. The same bacteria that cause gum disease and irritate your gums might travel to your arteries. Researchers are unsure what causes the bacteria to become mobile, but it has been suggested that bacteria can be dislodged and enter the bloodstream during tasks as simple as brushing, flossing or even chewing.


Research shows that your risk of developing cardiovascular disease varies according to the severity of gum infection. The worse the infection, the more likely the bacteria are to become blood-borne. Infected gums bleed, making it easier for bacteria to enter your bloodstream. If bacteria become dislodged, the bacteria can enter through cuts or sores in your mouth and can travel to other parts of the body through your bloodstream.


If bacteria reach the arteries, they can irritate them in the same way that they irritate gum tissue. This could cause arterial plaque to accumulate, which can cause hardening of the arteries and decreased or blocked bloodflow. Compromised bloodflow to your heart can cause a heart attack. Also, arterial plaque can come loose and travel to other parts of the body. If a blockage occurs in the brain, it can cause a stroke.

Reviewed: January 2012