Cardiologist Questions Gum Disease

Gum disease and heart disease

Is there a link between gum disease and heart disease? Is dental plaque really the same thing as the plaque associated with an unhealthy heart?

19 Answers

Yes and no! Any grumbling inflammation increases the risk of a heart attack but there is no direct connection between dental plaque and arterial plaques.
There is a link between active periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. It is not so much the soft plaque on our teeth that cause the disease but more the active pathogens within your gums that are responsible for the association. If you have active gum disease (bleeding gums), I highly recommend you have this checked by a periodontist. Please feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation in our office in 2018. Our number is 425-453-1010. Wishing you all the best for 2018!
Dr. Raval
Very tenuous research. I wouldn’t put much stock in it. Plaque on teeth is not the same as plaque in arteries
There may be association between periodontal disease (gum disease) and heart disease. The plaque of the coronary arteries are different from the dental plaque. Plaque in the coronary arteries starts from deposition of cholesterol in the wall of the coronary arteries. People with periodontal disease are more prone to develop plaque in the coronary arteries. One of the theories is that periodontal disease produces more inflammatory reaction in the body. This may be linked to greater likelihood of more cholesterol deposition in the coronary arteries.

Dr. KH Lim
Dental plaque or rather gum infection can give out toxins, which loosen plaque in the coronary arteries, causing heart attacks. Also, gum injection can cause heart infection - endocarditis. Regular dental cleaning, good dental hygiene, flossing or using a proxy brush daily helps.
There is a strong link between periodontal/gum disease and coronary artery disease. There are many factors taht link periodontal/gum disease and CAD/CVSD. Periodontal infections/inflammation trigger a systemic inflammatory disorder leading to increasing inflammation in the coronary and cerebrovascular arteries, as the inflammation continues the amount of inflammation in the vessel lumen increase leading to increased arterial plaque formation. In addition post periodontal infections are caused by gram negative bacteria which cause release of endotoxins which alter lipid metabolism and increase inflammatory mediators.

Dental plaque is not the same as plaque in the heart arteries.
Some old data showed correlation between gums disease and CAD, but controversy still exists. “Plaques” terminology means different things.
Yes, there has been a link between gingival disease and coronary disease, probably through a non-specific mechansim of increasing inflammation. It is a small link, but good dental hygiene is always recommended. The plaques are totally different.
There have been reported associations. But "plaque" around teeth is not the same as "plaque" in the heart arteries.
Dental plaque and plaque in heart or other arteries i.e atherosclerotic plaque are two completely different entities and not related.
The main link is that C-reactive protein is elevated in patients with cardiovascular disease and in patients with severe periodontitis. No direct link has been proven yet, but both diseases involve inflammation, and we know that severe periodontitis causes bacteria to enter the blood stream on a regular basis during brushing, flossing, and chewing. These bacteria cause an inflammatory response that can cause narrowing of blood vessels, which, in theory could cause a heart attack or stroke. No, dental plaque and plaques in arteries are not the same. Dental plaque is almost 100% bacteria. Plaques in arteries generally form inside of the walls of the vessel, and consist primarily of collagen and cholesterol. 
There is a relationship between periodontal disease and heart disease but it has nothing to do with the plaque being the same or not as the plaque in arteries of your heart.
The plaque is not the same.
The problem is the g-bacteria involved in disease causes blood cloth formation in blood vessels and this is the people most.
There have been many good studies showing a very strong association between
inflamatory diseases like Periodontitis and atheroscleroric heart disease.
The plaques found in coronary arteries often have the same bacteria in them
that we find in the periodontal pockets of Periodontitis patients.
Statistically there is a strong association but a causative relationship
has not been proven but merely speculated. A recent study done at NYU
LANGONE by Dr. Young has also show a strong association between periodontal
pathogenic bacteria and pancreatic cancer. These researchers are not doing
a,study to see if injecting these bacteria into rats will CAUSE pancreatic
Dental plaque is plaque regardless of its origin. It contributes and/or causes gengivitis (gum inflammation) that leads to shedding mouth bacteria into the blood stream (bacteremia). This bacteria can settle and grow on the heart valves (endocarditis) subsequently destroying a functional valve making it dysfunctional. A dysfunctional valve leads to heart failure.
No they are not related , but I lack of dental hygiene can lead to coronary disease and valvular heart disease , that is why antibiotics should be takes by patients who have more than mild regurgitation of mitral or aortic to prevent endocarditis prior to dental procedures .
Gum disease is caused by bacterial plaque buildup. Heart disease is caused by cholesterol and calcium deposits in the arteries. They are 2 different processes. Having said this, gum disease can predispose to heart disease by causing a blood infection (the bacteria that form the plaque buildup in the gums) that infects the valves of the heart and making the valves leaky. This is a very serious condition and can cause the heart to go into failure, as well as other organs such as the lungs, kidneys, brain and spleen. Hope this helps!
Not directly, but if patient has gum disease and infection, it can enter the blood and causes bacteremia and endocarditis (the valve of the heart can get infected) which would be a dangerous situation and needs to be dealt with antibiotics and in some cases, surgery. The dental plaque has no correlation with plaque in the heart.
There is no confirmed direct link between gum disease and heart disease. However, there is an association which means gum disease will increase the risk of heart disease.

The plaque around teeth is not the same as plaque found in heart vessels. However, the plaque and bacteria found around teeth, can cause an inflammatory reaction in the body which will increase proteins(C- Reactive protein) responsible for developing the plaque found in heart vessels.....

Also, the same bacteria found in plaque buildup around teeth, have been found in heart tissue.