Can Healthy Gums Prevent Heart Disease?

Your gums should be pink in color, signaling that they are healthy and youthful. Inflamed, bleeding gums may be a sign of gum disease, which can destroy the surrounding bone and gum tissue. But could gum disease lead to heart disease?

According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), those with gum disease are almost two times more likely to suffer from heart disease. One theory suggests that bacteria in the mouth enter the blood stream through the gums, traveling up to the heart, attaching to blood vessels and restricting the amount of nutrients and oxygen that reaches the heart. The AAP also suggests that, as the gums become inflamed, plaque buildup increases, causing your arteries to swell. But even with these findings, there is still no concrete evidence that links gums and heart disease as being directly correlated. To reduce your risk, floss at least twice a day to remove bacteria and plaque on and beneath the gumline that could otherwise erode the teeth, leading to cavities and gum problems, like swelling, infection and inflammation.