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Oral Health and Heart Disease

For centuries, scientists have been trying to understand the relationship between Oral and Heart health. Studies thus far have demonstrated interesting links between Coronary Artery Disease and Gum Disease1.

Oral Health & Heart Disease Diagram by Altima Dental

People with poor oral health are more likely to have heart attacks. While it has not been proven that one of these conditions leads to the other; it has been observed that inflammation and the same type of bacteria were common in both diseases.

  1. Inflammation
    People with advanced gum disease have an increased level of C-reactive protein (CRP) which is a protein that rises during body inflammation. CPR levels are also used to determine a person's risk of stroke. Inflammation seems to be a common factor in both gum and heart diseases.

  2. Bacteria
    During the early stages of gum disease, the gum becomes inflamed and bacteria overtake the mouth. These bacteria could find their way into the blood stream and result in the thickening of the artery, which creates plaque build-up, and may eventually lead to heart failure.

Some of the symptoms of gingivitis (gum disease) to look out for are:

  • Red, tender or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
  • Gums pulling away from your teeth
  • Recurring bad taste in your mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth / teeth separating from each other

These top 3 dental preventive measures are your first defense against gum disease:


Regular dental visits


Regular brushing and flossing


Professional cleanings

The Academy of General Dentistry advises that proper diagnosis and treatment for oral diseases can lead to a decrease in blood pressure and improve health 2. If you know you suffer from heart disease, keep your dentist informed about your condition.  Likewise, if you suffer from gum disease, you may want to get medical check-ups with your family doctor regularly.

Make sure you are taking care of your smile and your heart.
Contact us for your complimentary dental consultation* today.

*Includes a 15 minute consultation with a general dentist (excluding x-rays) where applicable. Fees may apply with a specialist.


1 Kathleen Doheny. WebMD Feature, Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD
Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/healthy-teeth-healthy-heart?page=2

2 Delta Dental of California. October 2014.
Retrieved from: https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/heart.html

3 Embargoed Release. February 2005.
Retrieved from: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Research/ResearchResults/NewsReleases/ArchivedNewsReleases/NRY2005/PR02072005.htm

Altima & BrightSmile Dental have more than 30 locations to serve you better.

Call 1.888.81SMILE (76453) (a FREE call) to connect to a dental centre in Ontario.

Call 310-SMILE (403.310.7645) to connect to a dental centre in Calgary, Alberta.

Reserve your complimentary consultation today!* New patients are always welcome.

*10-minute complimentary consultation is with a general dentist, & excludes x-rays or new patient exam. Fees may apply with a specialist.