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Diseases can often become noticeable through changes in the mouth. The warning signs should be taken seriously. This is also where the body’s first, mostly inconspicuous signals appear, which are considered bad harbingers of oral cancer. But signs of illness elsewhere are also conceivable.
Their meaning is not always immediately obvious. Experts agree that there are initial symptoms in the mouth that can indicate an increased risk of a heart attack.
Periodontitis as a trigger for heart attacks – experts believe there are a few reasons
As the German Society for Periodontology (DG PARO) explains on their website, periodontitis as well as vascular and heart diseases are closely linked. If periodontitis remains untreated, more bacteria can enter the bloodstream, even during everyday activities such as chewing and brushing your teeth. Anyone who has the predisposition to this is at risk of developing an inflammation of the inner lining of the heart in the worst case scenario.
The interesting thing about this connection, both also have common risk factors. The experts not only include things like smoking, but also genetic variants, so-called polymorphisms.
According to the report, such a predisposition to periodontitis does not generally lead to the disease, but it can significantly increase the risk. A severe inflammatory reaction caused by bacteria in plaque can always be a warning sign.
Lower risk of heart attack – experts recommend better oral hygiene
Anyone who suffers from one of the illnesses will not notice much of it at first. Problems only arise when you are at an advanced stage. But there are seven warning signs in the mouth that you should definitely pay attention to.
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Basically, healthy gums and healthy teeth are important for the well-being of the whole body, as the DG PARO writes. It goes on to say: “Inflammatory diseases in the oral cavity can affect the entire organism. This is because bacteria or inflammatory substances enter the bloodstream from the oral cavity.”
The experts therefore warn that “a healthy lifestyle combined with thorough oral hygiene and regular check-ups or treatment visits to the dentist can significantly reduce the risks of periodontitis and tooth loss.” And regular self-checks can also help to recognize the first symptoms of an increased risk of heart attack.
Seven warning signs to self-test – what you should pay attention to
According to the Society for Periodontology Seven warning signs in the mouth that you should definitely not ignore as soon as they occur. What do you have to pay attention to?
Red and swollen gums Frequent bleeding from the gums, for example when brushing your teeth or when chewing The gums recede, the teeth appear longer Sensitive teeth (tooth necks) Teeth become loose and can migrate Persistent bad breath and/or unpleasant taste in the mouth Pus escapes from the gum pockets
It should be noted that cardiovascular diseases and their consequences are still the second most common cause of death worldwide and the most common cause of death in industrialized nations. Traditionally, risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, elevated blood lipids, diabetes mellitus, obesity, lack of exercise, age and family history of cardiovascular diseases are considered responsible for the development of vascular changes and their secondary diseases. There is a reason why periodontitis is at the top of the list.
Chronic inflammation is more likely to lead to a heart attack
According to DG PARO, chronic inflammation is one of the most important factors when it comes to the risk of a heart attack. Periodontitis is therefore such a chronic inflammation. It also ensures that it spreads widely throughout the body and is “a significant cause of the penetration of bacteria into the blood vessels.”
The problem with research is that you can’t determine exactly what causal role periodontitis has in cardiovascular disease because there are “many common genetic and behavioral risk factors,” according to the report.
For the experts, the only fact is that “successful treatment of periodontitis also produces effects in the bloodstream and vessels.” According to current information, the result is a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.
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