Your Guide to Gum Disease Symptoms and Heart Disease
Could gum disease be harming your heart? Learn how to spot problems and practice good oral care.
By R. Morgan Griffin
Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson
How do you know if gum disease may threaten your heart health? While the connection isn't yet proven beyond a doubt, plenty of evidence points to dental disorders such as periodontal disease (disease of the gums and bones that support the teeth) and gum disease (also called gingivitis) having something to do with heart disease. Until researchers are sure, the best defense is to adopt good oral health habits and be on the lookout for problems with your teeth and gums.
"Healthy gums are firm, light pink, and very elastic," says periodontist Sally Cram, DDS, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association. So if that description doesn't fit the gums in your mouth, it's time for a checkup. Watch for these symptoms of gum disease:
Some people are genetically more prone to periodontal and gum disease than others. So if it runs in your family, you should be especially vigilant. Get any symptoms checked out right away.
Specific conditions that might be related to heart disease are:
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions