Since gum disease is caused by bacterial infection, researchers suspect that it may contribute to heart attacks or stroke by causing a chronic state of inflammation in blood vessels.
I decided to look up the research! In a few large studies I found, people who had their teeth professionally scaled at least once every two years were 24% less likely to have a heart attack compared with those who skipped the hygienist. Scaling cleans between the gums and the teeth.
And their risk of stroke dropped by 13%, says study researcher Zu-Yin Chen, MD, a cardiology fellow at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan.
“Something as simple as having good dental hygiene — brushing, flossing, and having regular cleanings — may be good for your heart and brain health,” says Ralph Sacco, MD, head of neurology at the University of Miami. Sacco, the immediate past president of the American Heart Association (AHA), was not involved with the work.
Although the link between dental health and heart and stroke risk is not entirely clear, inflammation is a common problem in gum disease and heart disease.
Thank you to Portola Plaza Dental Group with Dr Milner and Dr Dinica for taking such good care of my family!