How Dental Care Affects Your Heart

Researchers have found that people with bad dental care such as dental infections, periodontal disease, abscessed teeth, and failing root canals, are almost twice as likely to have heart disease, and that this risk may be even greater than for those with high cholesterol. Recent findings have suggested that up to 50 percent of all heart attacks may be triggered by an infection in the mouth! 

It appears that your Fort Myers dental care is more important to our overall health and longevity than we ever realized.  More and more diseases have been linked to chronic inflammation from dental infections. In November of 2016, a landmark study was published in a prominent medical journal which proved that  bacteria from dental infections are the cause of a large percentage of heart attacks and strokes.

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Can the health of your mouth tell if you’re at risk for heart disease?

It sure can!  For too many Americans, this reality hits close to home in that more than 85 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, while more than 200 million American adults have some level of periodontal disease.
Understanding the link between dental infections and heart disease all comes down to understanding the role of bacteria and inflammation. Scientists now know the direct link between dental infections and heart disease is due to certain types of bacteria. In this scenario, bacteria found in infected gum tissue around teeth or in the jawbone can enter the bloodstream and move to other parts of the circulatory system, directly causing cardiovascular disease.
Inflammation, or swelling, is the body’s natural response to infection. It has been proven that as oral bacteria travel through the body, this response is triggered, which then leads to the formation of arterial plaque.
Oral bacteria have been found in the fatty deposits of people with atherosclerosis. These deposits can narrow arteries or break loose and clog them entirely, leading to heart attack or stroke. Retrieved clots from heart attack and stroke victims have also showed a very high percentage filled with bacteria from dental infections. Our present day information tells us that a heart attack occurs when a clot dislodges and goes to the heart and a stroke occurs when it goes to the brain.  Prevention of both heart attacks and strokes in many cases is dependant on eliminating bacterial infections in the mouth.
Any person who has had a heart attack or a stroke deserves to be evaluated for oral infections. A complete examination consisting of a thorough periodontal exam, state-of-the-art 3D x-rays, and oral DNA testing to determine what types of bacteria are present.
Unfortunately, too many times these infections are silent and our patients are totally unaware that anything is wrong. Sometimes the disease will make its presence known with symptoms that are recognizable.

The American Academy of Periodontology lists the signs of periodontal disease as the following:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums or other pain in the mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between the gums and teeth
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A change in the way the teeth fit together when one bites down
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures


As a dentist, I now have a greater responsibility to not only help my patients to save their teeth and create healthy gums, but to help them prevent diseases that are a leading cause of death. Our Fort Myers dental office is at the forefront of this exciting new paradigm shift that is joining medicine and dentistry to help bring this major health breakthrough to our patients.

Periodontal Disease and Heart Attacks

In their groundbreaking book, Beat The Heart Attack Gene, world renowned cardiovascular specialists Bradley Bale, MD, and Amy Doneen, DPN, ARNP, present their revolutionary, comprehensive plan to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Bale and Doneen have created a prevention program that uses cutting-edge genetic testing and the latest science to not only identify but also treat people who harbor undiagnosed and potentially life-threatening plaque in their arteries.

I have become an Endorsed Provider for the Bale/Doneen Method for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes.