Understanding the Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Health

Gum disease is a serious health issue with effects ranging from minor gum inflammation to major damage to the soft tissue and underlying bone. When patients have a buildup of plaque and tartar along the gum line, it can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that cause gingivitis or periodontitis, and even an increased risk of heart disease. If you notice that your gums are often swollen, tender, and bleed during brushing or flossing, Dr. Clifford Degel and Dr. Carmen Every-Degel can provide a proper diagnosis. We offer advanced surgical and non-surgical treatments at our Queens practice.

Illustration of the stages of periodontal disease

Gum disease is a progressive disease which will worsen without treatment.

Signs and Symptoms

To help prevent gum disease and the need for more extensive dental work, it is imperative to recognize some of the early symptoms, including: 

  • Swollen and tender gums
  • Gums that appear bright red
  • Bleeding during brushing and flossing
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Increased spacing between teeth
  • Dental sensitivity and pain

During regular check-ups, make sure to alert your dentist to any symptoms you have noticed that could indicate gum disease. Timely intervention is imperative to keep bacteria from spreading and causing further damage.  

Causes of Periodontal Disease

When bacterial plaque accumulates and is not removed with professional dental cleanings, it can build up and harden into tartar. This creates an ideal place for bacteria to thrive, which can cause an infection of the surrounding soft tissue. In addition to poor oral hygiene, there are several contributing factors that cause an elevated risk of gum disease. These include smoking and tobacco use, genetics, pregnancy, certain medications, teeth grinding, and diseases like diabetes.

a woman's smile

Treating gum disease can protect your appearance and your health.

The Effects of Gum Disease

With advancements in both dental technology and oral health research, it is becoming more widely accepted throughout the medical community that there is a direct link between a healthy mouth and a healthy heart. What this means is that patients with poor oral health can also face an increased risk of developing more serious conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

Today, it is becoming more widely accepted throughout the medical community that there is a direct link between a healthy mouth and a healthy heart. 

Although a direct cause has not been identified, many researchers believe that as the gums become inflamed and infected, it can cause atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Therefore, the inability for blood to flow unobstructed through the veins will inevitably put patients at a greater risk for heart complications. In order to minimize the effects associated with gum disease, our doctors recommend regular exams, cleanings, and periodic screenings. 

Protect Your Oral Health

If you have already been diagnosed with gum disease or have noticed related symptoms, we can recommend appropriate gum disease treatment. Depending on the severity of your case, you may require non-surgical or surgical intervention. During a consultation, we will discuss your options and help you make the decision that is right for you. To schedule an appointment, please take a moment to send us a message or give us a call at (718) 278-1123. 

Social Accounts Sprite

Astoria Office

32-17 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106

Open Today 11:00am - 7:30pm

Hours & Info


(718) 278-1123