Dental Plaque is the bacteria-laden matrix that forms on neglected teeth or teeth in individuals with periodontitis (gum disease). Cardiac plaque is similar in structure, but it clogs the arteries in our heart muscle and causes atherosclerosis and /or heart attacks.
Research has found that specific bacteria common in dental plaque are also found in cardiac plaque. Research continues to see if there is a true “cause and effect”. In other words, there are efforts underway to measure if the bacteria from the mouth migrate to cause heart valve damage in patients with infective endocarditis.
So when you remove plaque from your mouth with a brush and floss, you reduce the risk that those bacteria may lodge in the vessels or valves of your heart. After all, statistics show that people with gum disease are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease.
If you have heart disease that resulted in damage to your heart valves, your dentist will prescribe an appropriate antibiotic therapy before doing most dental procedures.