Could Untreated Gum Disease Lead To Heart Failure?

Dentist Fairfax VA Poor oral hygiene habits can lead to a less than happy mouth, but bad breath or yellow teeth are just the beginning. Failure to properly care for your teeth can create prime conditions for nasty pathogens, or infection causing germs, to thrive in your mouth. When allowed to spread, these pathogens can influence and trigger other disease in the body, such as arthritis and heart disease.


Periodontal disease, also known as shrinking gums, is caused by a type of bacteria called porphyromonas gingivalis. These bacteria cause gingivitis (the inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (an inflammation of the bone). If left unchecked, the bone material degrades, and leads to tooth loss. Unfortunately, it gets worse. Because of the highly aggressive nature of the bacteria, infections can spread quickly. The bacteria release an enzyme, glutaminylcyclase, which breaks down connective tissue and collagen in the gums, which the bacteria feed on. Researchers at the Frauenhhofer-Gesselsschaft Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology  have suggested that the enzyme actually forms a variant of the beta-amyloid peptide (peptides are naturally occurring biological molecules) found in Alzheimer's patients, which is particularly bad for nerve cells.

A Common Oral Health Problem

According to the World Health Organization, as many as 60% of adults suffer from an untreated oral inflammatory disease. As the research continues, scientists are confident in a link between these infections and more sinister inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and Alzheimer's disease. Don't let poor oral hygiene compromise your health and well-being. Call your go-to dentist in Fairfax, VA  today to schedule an appointment.