First and foremost, gum disease can lead to higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Common, chronic bacterial infections including gum disease, urinary tract and lung infections may increase the risk of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a build of fatty plaque in the arteries. This build up of fat in the carotid arteries; which are located in the neck, increases the risk of stroke by reducing blood flow to the brain, as well as by promoting formation of a blood clots that lead to a stroke.
Periodontal disease is caused by a chronic. low grade infection which can lead to inflammation and it is believed that inflammation plays an important role in stokes and heart disease. You can best reduce your risk by simply flossing, brushing your teeth at least twice a day, using a fluoride rinse and follow scheduled visits with your dentist. Be pro-active and take of yourself.
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN