Can dental cavities or gum disease have a negative impact on cardiovascular health?

  • So, ya know, do your own research, but there is, at least, a correlation according to a study I read... years ago.
    – user2516
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


There is a well known disease process of oral bacteria getting into the blood and causing organ damage. I cite from the abstract of Hirschfeld, J., & Kawai, T. (2015). Oral inflammation and bacteremia: implications for chronic and acute systemic diseases involving major organs. Cardiovascular & Haematological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-Cardiovascular & Hematological Disorders), 15(1), 70-84.

"At the present time, plaque control by subjects and/or dental professionals is one of the most effective means to prevent the onset and progression of oral bacteremia-induced systemic diseases."

Additionally, in my microbiology textbook "made ridiculously simple" it says that the normal inhabitants of your mouth "Streptococcus viridans" tend to eat heart valves slowly if they are regularly getting into your blood stream.

Whether antibiotic prophylaxis at every dental procedure is useful is a matter of debate, I would need to review the literature to find up to date recommendations. Nevertheless I think it still holds true that having free entry into your blood stream for bacteria is not a good idea.

  • 2
    Nice answer to an old question. I'd give you an extra +1 for the quote from your microbiology textbook if I could.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 4:33

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