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Know Your Teeth - Infobites - Warning Signs in the Mouth Can Save Lives -- 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

Friday, March 22, 2019
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth


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Warning Signs in the Mouth Can Save Lives

Chapter: Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease, often called gingivitis in its early stages, is caused by plaque buildup and affects an estimated 80 percent of American adults. Studies suggest that people who have gum disease are at a higher risk for heart attack. If bacteria in the infected gums dislodge, they can enter the bloodstream, attach to arterial plaque and may increase clot formation. Clots can decrease the blood supply to the heart, increasing the chance of a heart attack and raising blood pressure. Studies that find exactly how gum disease and heart disease are linked are still underway.


Signs of gum disease include bleeding, receding or puffy gums, bad breath, sores in the mouth or pus between gums and teeth. Preventing plaque buildup by brushing and flossing regularly helps minimize the chance for getting gum disease. Seeing your dentist every six months can help identify gum disease as well as overall health problems in their earliest stages.


Dentists know that your teeth and gums hold important clues to overall health and can work with you to reduce your risk and treat current health problems.
Reviewed: January 2012