Lynn Dental Care: What is Cardiovascular Disease

How is heart disease related to your dental health?

Lynn Dental Care emphasizes how important dental health is to your general health. That’s why we at Lynn Dental Care want to inform you on some of the different problems poor dental health can cause. Several theories exist to explain the link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Oral bacteria can affect the heart when it enters the bloodstream, attaching to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries (heart blood vessels) and contributing to clot formation.

Coronary artery disease is characterized by a thickening of the walls of the coronary arteries due to the buildup of fatty proteins. Blood clots can obstruct normal blood flow, restricting the amount of nutrients and oxygen required for the heart to function properly. This may lead to heart attacks.

Another possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease increases plaque buildup, which may contribute to swelling of the arteries. Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease.

What is Cardiovascular Disease?

Cardiovascular disease, also called heart disease, includes numerous problems, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow, and this can cause a heart attack or stroke. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die. ‘

  • Each year, heart disease kills more Americans than cancer.
  • Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death and disability in the United States and most European countries.

Cardiovascular diseases include the following:

  • Aneurysm
  • Angina
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Peripheral vascular disease

Treatment Options

Unlike many other chronic medical conditions, cardiovascular disease is treatable and reversible, even after a long history of disease. Because periodontal disease can exacerbate existing heart conditions, patients at risk for infective endocarditis— inflammation of the inner lining of the heart—may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your dentist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.

Contact Lynn Dental Care Today

Lynn Dental Care is your provider for dental services in the Dallas area. Lynn Dental Care offers a full range of dental services including orthodontics, cosmetic treatments, and general dentistry for you to help you have good oral health. Contact us today or view the Lynn Dental Care website for more information.

Download PDF