The Connection Between Oral Health and Cardiovascular Disease

In recent years, the link between oral health and cardiovascular health has garnered considerable attention within the medical community. This blog delves into how oral health can influence heart disease, supported by scientific studies and expert opinions.

Understanding the Oral-Systemic Connection

The mouth serves as a gateway to the body, making oral health a critical component of overall health. Poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular conditions. Bacteria from inflamed gums can enter the bloodstream, affecting the heart by attaching to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries and contributing to clot formation. This condition, known as atherosclerosis, can lead to significant heart complications, including heart attacks.

Evidence Linking Oral and Cardiovascular Health

Several epidemiological studies have observed a higher prevalence of cardiovascular diseases—including stroke and heart attacks—in people with periodontal disease. For instance, the American Academy of Periodontology mentions studies that show people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease compared to those without gum disease. Moreover, the bacteria responsible for periodontitis, such as Streptococcus sanguinis, has been found in atherosclerotic blood vessels far from the mouth, suggesting that oral pathogens could contribute to the development and progression of cardiovascular conditions.

Preventive Measures

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is crucial not only for your oral health but also for your heart health. Regular dental check-ups, brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and avoiding tobacco products can significantly reduce the risk of periodontal disease and its potential complications related to heart disease. Furthermore, educating patients on the signs of gum disease, which include red, swollen gums, and bleeding during brushing or flossing, is vital for early detection and treatment.

Integrative Health Strategies

Addressing oral health as part of a holistic approach to preventing heart disease reflects the evolving understanding of the interconnectedness of body systems. Dr. Sanket Upadhyay at Birch Point Dental Clinic emphasizes the importance of regular dental examinations as part of patients’ overall health care regimen, especially for those with risk factors for heart disease.

Advancing Toward Better Health

In conclusion, the evidence underscores the significant relationship between oral health and cardiovascular health. By fostering good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits, individuals can significantly contribute to their heart health. Dr. Sanket Upadhyay and the team at Birch Point Dental Clinic in Thunder Bay, ON, are dedicated to providing comprehensive care that supports both your oral and cardiovascular health.


  1. American Academy of Periodontology. (2023). “Gum Disease and Heart Disease.”
  2. Journal of Periodontology. (2022). “Link between periodontal disease and coronary artery disease.”
  3. Healthline. (2023). “How Oral Health Affects Your Heart.”

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Dr. Sanket Upadhyay


Dr. Sanket completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree in India in 2011 and obtained his Canadian dental license in 2016. He is a member in good standing with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, the Ontario Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Sanket regularly pursues continuing education through dental conferences and courses to enhance his knowledge and be at the forefront of advances in dentistry.

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