Infected gums may raise the risk of heart disease through causing inflammation of the arteries. There is mounting evidence that gum infection may set the scene for heart disease. A new study uncovers a link between the mouth and the heart - C - reactive protein (CRP). Researchers at the University of Buffalo find that people with gum disease have higher than normal CRP levels.
It may be that oral bacteria enter the circulation via the gums, and then trigger the liver to make more CRP. Previous studies suggest that CRP contributes to inflammation of the coronary arteries, so encouraging the deposition of fatty plaque which narrows the vessels. In fact, CRP is now being used as a new 'marker' for heart disease - the higher CRP is, the more likely you are to have a heart attack. The oral connection shows that looking after the health of your gums could be vital for the health of your heart.