Oral-Systemic Connection: Heart Health


Most people are aware that their eating habits can greatly impact their physical wellbeing, including their heart. However, fewer people are aware that their systemic health can also be influenced by the state of their oral health. Numerous studies have delved into the oral-systemic connection in efforts to better understand your mouth’s importance to your physical health, and the results may surprise you. Today, we explore one of the many interesting facets of oral-systemic health—the relationship between your oral and heart health.

A Look at the Oral-Systemic Connection

While there are several components to oral-systemic health, some of the main elements are the oral bacterial responsible for the development of dental diseases. At any given moment, your mouth contains over 600 different kinds of bacteria. As they congregate, they form the sticky film known as plaque that adheres to your teeth and gums. These bacteria are responsible for the development of most dental diseases, including tooth decay and gum disease. The oral-systemic connection often describes the transmission of these bacteria into your body, where they can threaten other tissues in your body with their harmful presence.

The Systemic Effects of Oral Bacteria

One of the more infamous types of oral bacteria involved in the connection is Porphyromonas gingivalis, the bacteria most often associated with gum disease. P. gingivalis manipulate your immune system’s inflammatory response to harmful invaders, resulting in the excessive gingival inflammation that is indicative of gum disease. When your mouth’s soft tissues become compromised by disease, these and other bacteria can enter your bloodstream and threaten other body tissues, including your heart and arteries. For instance, researchers have learned that P. gingivalis infection can significantly accelerate inflammatory atherosclerosis (a potentially fatal disease that affects your arteries).

Learn More About Oral-Systemic Health

Oral-systemic connections emphasize the importance of maintaining a consistently healthy smile by visiting your dentist for regular preventive appointments. To learn more, schedule your appointment by calling Keelan Dental in Butler, PA, today at (724) 285-4153. Our Smile Certified experts happily serve patients from Butler, Cranberry Township, Mars, Pittsburgh, Butler County, and all surrounding communities.