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 healthy and protect your heart:

  • Brush 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.

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

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

Online Medical Reviewer: Ronald Karlin MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Steven Kang MD
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2021
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