Heart Disease: Keep Your Gums Healthy
People with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease than people with healthy gums.
Gum disease occurs when too many bacteria are thriving in the mouth. Gum disease is associated with an increased risk for heart disease, possibly because of overall increased inflammation.
Here’s what you can do to keep your gums healthy and protect your heart:
Brush and floss your teeth every day.
See your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
Let your dentist know whether you have heart disease—you may need antibiotics before certain dental treatments. The vast majority of people with heart disease do not need antibiotics before dental work. However, people with prosthetic heart valves, a history of endocarditis (infection of the heart), or certain congenital heart conditions (even after surgical repair), and people with heart transplants who have gone on to develop heart-valve problems need antibiotics before dental procedures.
See your dentist if you notice bleeding or tender gums.
- Foster, Sara, RN, MPH
- MMI board-certified, academically-affiliated clinician