Status: 27/09/2023, 16:09 p.m.
By: Judith Braun
According to experts, periodontitis is closely related to vascular and heart diseases. The first signs of a heart attack can therefore appear in the mouth.
Cardiovascular diseases are the second leading cause of death worldwide – in fact, the most common in industrialized nations. Typical risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, lack of exercise or elevated blood lipids are usually blamed for the development of vascular changes and their consequences. However, chronic inflammation, such as periodontitis, is also one of the factors that can increase the risk of a heart attack. Therefore, such changes in the mouth can be a first warning signal.
Heart attack: First signs recognizable in the mouth - seven warning signs you should know
Chronic inflammation is one of the risk factors for heart attack. © yacobchuk/IMAGO
According to information from the German Society for Periodontology (DG PARO), vascular and heart diseases are closely linked to periodontitis. For example, if periodontitis is left untreated, more bacteria can enter the bloodstream. This happens even when brushing your teeth or chewing. In the worst case, people with a predisposition are at risk of inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Both diseases have common risk factors. These include, for example, genetic variants. It is true that such a predisposition does not have to develop into a disease. However, since it significantly increases the risk, a severe inflammatory reaction caused by bacteria in plaque can always be a warning sign.
The tricky thing about it, however, is that those affected will not notice much of it at first. Problems and complaints usually only occur when the diseases are already advanced. However, there are some warning signs in the mouth that you should be aware of. According to DG PARO, there are the following seven warning signs that you should not ignore under any circumstances if they occur:
- Sensitive teeth (especially tooth necks)
- Swollen and reddened gums
- Gums recede
- Frequent bleeding gums (e.g., when chewing or brushing your teeth)
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth and/or persistent bad breath
- Teeth become loose, can migrate
- Pus comes out of gum pockets
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Preventing heart attacks: Experts advise thorough oral hygiene
Since inflammatory substances or bacteria enter the bloodstream from the oral cavity, inflammatory diseases in the oral cavity can affect the entire organism. After all, healthy gums and teeth play an important role in the well-being of the entire body. According to experts, in order to reduce the risks of periodontitis and tooth loss, in addition to a healthy lifestyle, thorough oral hygiene and regular self-checks, as well as check-ups and treatment visits to the dentist, are essential.
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This article contains only general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It is in no way a substitute for a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, individual questions about clinical pictures may not be answered by our editors.