Heart Disease: Keep Your Gums Healthy

People with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease than people with healthy gums. 

Gum disease occurs when too many bacteria are thriving in the mouth. Gum disease is linked with an increased risk for heart disease. This may be because of overall increased inflammation.

Here’s what you can do to keep your gums and teeth healthy and protect your heart:

  • Drink fluoridated water and brush with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes and floss your teeth every day.

  • See your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.

  • Let your dentist know whether you have heart disease—you may need antibiotics before certain dental treatments. Most people with heart disease don't need antibiotics before dental work. But people with prosthetic heart valves or valve repairs do. So do people with a history of heart infection (endocarditis) or certain congenital heart conditions (even after surgical repair).

  • See your dentist if you have bleeding or tender gums.

  • See your dentist at least once a year even if you have no natural teeth or have dentures.

  • If you smoke, get help to stop. This can help prevent inflammation and heart disease.

  • If you use tobacco products, get help to stop. This will help preserve healthy gum tissue and good oral hygiene.

  • Limit alcoholic drinks.

  • If your medicine causes dry mouth, ask your healthcare provider for a different medicine that may not cause this condition. If dry mouth cannot be prevented, drink plenty of water, chew sugarless gum, and stay away from tobacco products and alcohol.

Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Steven Kang MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tennille Dozier RN BSN RDMS
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2023
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.