Your mouth, a cornerstone of cardiovascular health

Did you know that some diseases of the mouth have repercussions throughout the body? Do you have cardiovascular disease and want to keep it under control? One of the most important risk factors is under your gums, we explain why below.

The cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of mortality in Spain (30%), ahead of cancer (28%) and respiratory diseases (11%), according to the INE. These diseases can affect the heart muscle, or the arteries and veins that carry blood to the heart and the rest of the body.

On the other hand, the periodontitis is a bacterial disease that affects the gums, causing inflammation, bleeding, tooth mobility and eventually tooth loss. In its varying degrees of severity, it is so common that only 15% of the adult population (over 35) have completely healthy gums, and 30% have the most severe form of the disease. I'm sure you are thinking "Well, what do they have to do with each other?". In recent years, it has been scientifically proven that there is a very direct relationship between them, let's see how.

Relationship between periodontal and cardiovascular diseases

That all-too-frequent gum disease, I was telling you beforeThe gum becomes inflamed, causing it to bleed, and micro wounds and ulcers are constantly being created on the inside of the gum. Since all this is due to an excess of bacteria under the gum and there are also open wounds, the bacteria can easily get inside the organism.

Once we have bacteria circulating in our blood, they can land in any organ, and that's where the problems begin.. These bacteria cause inflammation at the systemic level, infections in other organs, and atheroma plaquesresponsible for a number of cardiovascular diseases. It has also been scientifically proven that periodontal disease increases mortality in patients with heart disease, premature births, respiratory diseases and osteoporosis.

All this is frightening, and even more so given the frequency of both diseases. But just as the relationship between cardiovascular disease and gum health has been proven, it has also been proven that treating periodontal disease improves biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.

What's more, 90% of all heart attacks are preventable through a healthy lifestyle. But while this is something we all know, it is not always so easy to put into practice. Eliminating alcohol and tobacco from our lives should be the first step, losing weight where necessary, improving our diet and exercising almost every day is essential. And also, as we have seen, taking care of your gums, and that is where we dentists come in.

In many cases, professional hygiene is sufficient to improve gum health and reduce the bacterial load. In others, a more thorough treatment called scaling is necessary. root canals or curettage. In any case, it is advisable to have a regular check-up at the dental clinic, to prevent periodontal disease and many other diseases, when the early signs appear, which only an expert dentist will know how to identify.

Dr. Diego Saura Miñano, endodontist at Vélez&Lozano