Gum disease linked to strokes, heart attacks

Experts suggest residents keep a close eye on their mouths as gum disease can be a sign of serious health issues.

"Medical research has shown that people who have a prolonged inflammatory response are more prone to heart attacks, more prone to strokes, more prone to complications in diabetes," says Dr. Jerry Simon, of Dental Care of Stamford.

Bleeding gums can be an early sign of something more serious, according to experts. Dr. Simon advises contacting a dentist if gum bleeding is a consistent problem. Some patients may need to take a blood test for c-reactive protein.

"A heightened level of c-reactive protein is present in a case where there's inflammation in the body and often there's a tie between inflammation in the body and cardiac disease and stroke," says Dr. Simon.

Besides being a warning sign that something may be wrong, experts say gum disease can also cause infection to vital organs.

Related information:American Dental Association

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