If you’ve read Dr. Leonard Kundel’s blog before, you know the implications of holistic dentistry: the health of the mouth has everything to do with that of the rest of the body. But oral wellness affects more than just the appearance of the face: as an entryway for bacteria and germs, the condition of the mouth can affect any other part of the body, notably the heart. A study published in the 2016 American Journal of Medicine associates tooth loss with increased risk of heart disease, death, and stroke — showing around a 6% increase in risk each complication for every tooth lost.
How Are the Mouth and Heart Related?
The gums provide a porous barrier between the blood and the environment. That’s why it’s so easy to make them bleed and why oral topical anesthetic is so effective. It’s that easy for bacteria to get into the rest of the body through the gums. Dr. Leonard Kundel urges you to brush your teeth and floss daily, otherwise the sneaky bacteria between your teeth might slip into the bloodstream. From there, they can put any damaged organ or body part at risk.
What Might Happen as a Result?
Presence of bacteria and germs in the heart causes infection, which can lead to inflammation. Illnesses such as endocarditis, an infection of the heart’s inner lining, and atherosclerosis, inflammation in the arteries. These are both very serious conditions: both can interfere with the proper function of the cardiovascular system, at their worst leading to heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, and myocardial abscesses.
Those at greater risk of gingivitis are more likely to experience mouth-related heart issues. Besides being bad for your mouth, being in poor oral health — keeping plaque around, having poor oral hygiene — increases your risk of cardiovascular interference. Pay attention to your gums: it’s important to see a dentist whenever you notice bleeding, red, swollen, or sore gums, or if they look like they’re pulling away. If you frequently have bad breath or bad mouth taste or loose teeth, there’s a higher chance that you’re dealing with some sort of bacterial issue.
Dr. Leonard Kundel’s holistic dentistry keeps track of mouth-body relationships. Dr. Kundel’s patients praise his in-depth but digestible explanations of their health, from oral hygiene to potential causes for their chest pains. See the dentist who understands your health as a big picture, not just a few teeth to scrape. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Leonard Kundel today by calling (203) 487-6020 or visiting his website.