Dental Plaque and Heart Health

Dental Plaque and Heart HealthThe plaque in your arteries is not at all the same substance as the plaque on your teeth. However, according to researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, they may still be linked. Our Northridge dentist explains.

Streptococcus gordonii is just one of many bacteria that inhabit the oral cavity. However, if streptococcus gordonii enters the bloodstream, it can trigger life-threatening complications. Oral bacteria can access the rest of your body through inflamed or bleeding gums. Once they pass into the bloodstream, they act as human protein and activate blood platelets. The blood begins to stick to the walls of blood vessels, and blood clots develop. These blood clots ultimately protect the bacteria, which prevents the immune system and antibiotics from effectively battling them.

This chain reaction may be responsible for the correlation between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. It may also be linked to infective endocarditis, a condition in which bacteria infect the lining of the heart.

According to this review, managing your dental health may be important for more than just a beautiful smile. It may also play an important role in keeping your heart healthy. We recommend brushing at least two times a day and flossing once a day. Frequent brushing and flossing can reduce levels of plaque and bacteria and keep your gums healthier. Regular professional cleanings can help remove plaque and tartar buildup and catch early signs of dental problems.

Contact our dental office today to schedule your next checkup with our periodontist in Northridge.

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