Periodontal Disease, Heart Disease and Stroke

Southern California Family Dentistry

Southern California Family Dentistry - Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Periodontal Disease, Heart Disease and Stroke

Researchers have found that gum disease sufferers have double the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Additionally, research shows that stroke may be a result of an oral infection. Researchers observed that individuals who experienced some level of periodontitis were also diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia.

Periodontal disease (periodontitis), is the gradual condition which results in the recession of the gum or jawbone, and ultimately tooth loss. Periodontal disease may lead to severe health problems in various parts of the body due to the toxins found in plaque. When the gum tissues become inflamed, the destructive results include the irritation of the gingiva (gum tissue). this in turn causes bacterial infection (gingivitis) which results in the damage of the underlying bone and gum tissue.

Coronary Heart Disease 

When the walls of the coronary arteries become thicker due to the colonization of fatty proteins, it causes coronary heart disease.

As a result, the heart suffers from a lack of oxygen and operates harder to pump blood to the remainder of the body. The cardiologist and periodontist usually work in unison to treat those who are experiencing both conditions.

The correlation between heart disease, stroke and periodontal disease:  

Inflammation is a result of sever periodontitis: it inflames the gum tissue that cause the white blood cell count to increase as well as the levels of C-reactive protein. According to studies, high levels of C-reactive proteins show a correlation to heart disease.

Oral bacteria impacts the heart: There are many forms of periodontal bacteria. The strains that enter the bloodstream tie themselves to the fatty plaques located in coronary arteries. This puts the individual in crucial circumstances because it promotes clot formation.

Infectious susceptibility: High levels of oral bacteria weaken the immune system and signal an inflammatory response.  These factors trigger distinct forms of vascular effects that in the past have instigated specific types of heart disease.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Immediate treatment for periodontitis is a crucial step, as it appears to be a risk factor for strokes and hear attacks. Before any measures are taken, the periodontist will examine the specific condition of the gums, teeth, and jawbones. Additionally, X-rays may also be necessary as they assist in discovering bone loss in the jaw.

The dentist may perform root planing and deep scaling procedures to cleanse the pockets of debris in the gum tissues. A combination of antibiotics and medicated mouthwashes may be used to kill any remaining bacteria and promote the healing of the pockets. Before the implementation of any treatment, the dentist and hygienist will recommend home care and oral maintenance as well as prescribing mouthwashes that prevent increasing bacteria.

If you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease and its relation to heart disease and stroke, please ask your dentist.

Experienced and Highly-Trained


Southern California Family Dentistry - Hossein Jahangiri DDS - Dentist - Whittier, Lake Forest, San Clemente


General, Implant & Cosmetic Dentist, Clinical Director, SCFD & Portside Dentistry


With Locations in Whittier, Lake Forest and San Clemente