HEALTHY MOUTH HEALTHY BODY Resource Center | Learn how severe gum disease could increase certain health risks.
Healthy Mouth Healthy Body - Heart Disease

Recent research indicates that severe chronic gum disease (periodontitis**) is associated with the development of heart (cardiovascular) disease. There are several theories as to how periodontitis** may have an impact on heart health. One theory is that bacteria may enter the bloodstream through the mouth and have the potential to attach to fatty deposits in the blood vessels, which may contribute to heart disease. Another theory is that the inflammation associated with periodontitis may play a role. A recent study examined the presence of bacteria known to cause severe chronic gum disease and the thickening of the blood vessel wall commonly seen in heart disease. After examining over 650 subjects, the investigators concluded that there was an association between an increased level of blood vessel thickening and the presence of the bacteria found in dental plaque known to cause periodontitis**.

Be sure to tell your dentist if you have a heart condition and what, if any, medications you are taking for it. Your dentist will record important health information in your record and coordinate treatment with your physician.

To learn more about the importance of discussing heart conditions with your dentist, click on the link above for an article from the American Dental Association.

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* The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs' Acceptance of Colgate Total® toothpaste is based on its finding that the product is effective in helping to prevent and reduce tooth decay, gingivitis, plaque above the gumline and bad breath when used as directed.

** Colgate Total® is approved by the FDA to aid in the prevention of cavities, plaque and gingivitis. It has not been approved for the prevention or treatment of periodontitis or other diseases. Emerging research shows that there is an association between periodontitis and certain systemic diseases. A cause and effect relationship has not been established.