Heart Health

Research has shown the connection between oral health and heart health

People who have poor oral health pose a higher risk of having cardiovascular problems. Studies have linked periodontal disease (gum disease) to numerous health conditions including heart attack and stroke. As the mouth is the primary gateway to bacteria and viruses, oral bacteria can cause harm to blood vessels or cause blood clots because of the toxins that it releases. These toxins resemble proteins found in the artery walls or the blood stream. Bacteria from the mouth, especially bacteria from gum disease due to bleeding gums, can enter the blood stream, causing it to form fatty plaques around the artery walls, contributing to an environment for heart disease.

Poor dental health increases the risk of a bacterial infection in the blood stream, which can affect the heart valves. Oral health may be particularly important if you have artificial heart valves.



This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves (endocardium) typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.

Cardiovascular Disease

  • Although the connection is not fully understood, some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
  • Bacterial build-up and inflammation in the oral cavity can eventually lead to the narrowing and blockage of blood vessels.
  • The body’s immune system response is inflammation, which can set off a cascade of vascular damage throughout the body, including the heart and brain.


Preventative care

Practising good oral hygiene can reduce the risk of gum disease. Follow these steps to maintain a healthy mouth:

  • Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks
  • Visit your dentist regularly for oral examinations and professional cleanings

Your dentist and hygienist are trained to identify periodontitis and gingivitis, so it is important to visit them regularly. It is vital that you maintain good oral health in order to reduce the risk of gum disease and other health conditions.

A healthy mouth and a healthy lifestyle can help you keep your beautiful smile.


Cliffcrest Dental

2995 Kingston Rd, Scarborough,
ON M1M 1P1, Canada