More and more it is believed there is a direct link between a healthy mouth and a healthy heart. Inflammation or swollen gums are a sign of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease happens when plaque builds up causing bacteria to grow below the gum line. Because gums are highly vascularized, the bacteria enters the blood stream causing inflammation in other parts of the body. Inflammation in the heart leads to hardening of arteries, also called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis makes it hard for blood to flow to the heart increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke. Studies have shown when there is an absence of gum disease, there is significantly less bacteria found in the heart. Just one more reason to make sure you are getting regular dental cleanings. If you are due for a dental cleaning call 952-938-7746 or click HERE to schedule your cleaning today.