It’s no secret that what we consume has an impact on our overall health. However, new research indicates that there is a connection between the bacteria in your mouth and the health of your heart.
In a recent article, researchers suggested that people with periodontal disease can be twice as likely to have heart disease. Furthermore, the risk may be even greater than for those with high cholesterol. The key now is education regarding the oral-systemic connection as prevention may ultimately help save lives.

Link Between Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease?

Your oral health may be an early indication of heart disease. The recent analysis shows that the potential heart disease risk for patients with periodontal disease may be even greater for those with high cholesterol. So diet and good cardiovascular health still play a significant role in maintaining heart health. And now there may be even more you can do to prevent the progress of heart disease. Regular dental cleaning and maintenance of your oral health may be a significant factor in reducing your risk of other health complications.

The new research highlights the need for dentists to prepare their patients with all the tools they need to take the necessary steps for thorough at-home dental cleaning. Understanding the link between these two systemic diseases, the dental profession can be considered a key assessor of not just oral health, but also heart health.

By offering minimally invasive treatment options that patients will accept, dental professionals can help educate patients about the oral-systemic connection by looking for early symptoms of periodontal disease.

Recognizing the exact bacteria that is causing each patient’s case of periodontal disease offers an enormous advantage in allowing the clinician to address the cause. When dentists identify the bacteria that cause an individual patient’s case of periodontal disease, better treatment can be undertaken.

The patient is then reevaluated in one to three months, during which time the clinical parameters of periodontal disease are measured. The patient is either congratulated or encouraged to ramp up his or her home care, depending on what has been found.

Related: 5 Tips for Preventing Cavities

Still, it is both exciting and encouraging to know that sound maintenance of your oral health can have positive impacts on your holistic body health, including decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.