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Tooth Decay and Heart Disease

Tooth Decay and Heart Disease

Is it possible for tooth decay to be related to heart disease? Sounds weird, but it is true. Research spells that teeth problems and cardiovascular diseases, indeed, are connected.
Marlene Alphonse
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or dental cavities is a disease of the teeth, which finally results in the damage of the teeth. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria which are present in the plaque. This bacteria extracts sugars from the food particles and converts it into lactic acid and stores them in the cavities present in the teeth. This can lead to the decaying of teeth. There have been many researches which show the connection between decayed tooth and heart disease.
The bacteria that is present in the dental plaque can cause blood clots in the arteries. When these potentially fatal blood clots are released into the bloodstream, they can induce heart attacks. The formation of plaque in the gums leads to chronic inflammation of the gums, which can also cause inflammation in the walls of blood vessels, thus leading to the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. If an individual has a very severe decay and experiences pain in the left arm or in the chest region, then he may be having a heart attack. It is advisable not to ignore any signs and symptoms of tooth decay, as it can lead to problems in the cardiovascular system.
Conditions Related to Tooth Decay and Heart Disease
Healthy gums are pink in color, firm and elastic. Diseased gums appear swollen, red and sometimes bleed. Given below are some gum problems that may be related to heart diseases:

Genetics is responsible in some cases, when it comes to tooth and gum disorders.

Gingivitis is a disease of the gums, where a gap between the gums and teeth is formed due to the infestation of bacteria. The primary symptoms of this condition, being mild in the beginning, are swelling, redness and bleeding of the gums.
Pericoronitis is another disorder of the gums that is caused when the wisdom teeth do not emerge out completely from the gums, causing a gap. When food particles get accumulated, they start decaying and weaken the roots of the teeth causing discomfort and pain. When this condition becomes severe it can cause swelling on the cheeks and neck.
When the gum disease has become severe, it causes periodontitis, where the infection goes deeper into the gums and affects the roots of the teeth. This infection can also cause damage to the bones, below the gums and make the gums recede.
One of the most common causes is the accumulation of plaque in the cavities of the teeth. The bacteria that are present in the mouth break down the food and convert them into lactic acid.
Excess of lactic acid in the mouth may cause cavities in the teeth, leading to decay.
Improper brushing and flossing of the teeth and poor oral health are some other causes. In order to prevent tooth caries, one must brush the teeth properly and pay a regular visit to the dentist for an overall examination of the mouth.
Since decaying of tooth is a slow process, it does not show any immediate symptoms. Only when the nerve is exposed and the pain is aggravated, only then the signs of tooth decay are noticed. Given below are some signs of dental caries as observed in children as well as in adults:

➀ The most common symptom is toothache which is caused due to infection or irritation of the tooth pulp. This pain may aggravate due to eating sweets and hard food, consuming hot or cold drinks, and while brushing your teeth.
➁ Experiencing sensitivity due to pressure on the affected tooth.
➂ The individual may also experience bad breath and foul taste in the mouth.
➃ If there is an infection in the gums, then the tooth may break in splinters and may also be shaky.
Appearance of spots -- brown, black or yellow -- on the infected teeth.
➅ Severe decay may be caused due to the accumulation of pus in the abscess may cause symptoms like fever, swollen jaws, inflamed glands followed by excruciating pain.
It is essential to undergo prompt treatment, in the initial stages. Delaying the treatment can only make the condition worse, where the person may experience intense pain and the affected tooth may also have to extracted. If you want to stay away from tooth decay and heart disease, pay more attention to your oral health. Healthy teeth means a healthy heart.
Disclaimer: The article published herein, is meant for educational purposes only and does not intend to supplant the advice of a healthcare practitioner.